Kia K5 interior is ‘glorious’ but not ‘exotic’
The Kia brand, which was once the envy of luxury car buyers, is no longer the darling of the supercar market.
Kia, a joint venture of Kia Motors and Daimler, is selling its iconic Kia Soul sedan in India and Japan.
Kias sales in India dropped by 5.8 per cent last year and in Japan, by 2.8% to 8.3 million vehicles.
Kia is the most successful brand in the Indian luxury car segment, accounting for over half of all the vehicles sold in the country.
However, Kia is struggling to make a dent in the luxury segment, with sales down 8.8pc last year to 1.2 million vehicles, according to the research company Autodata.
Kias popularity is partly down to its appeal to people who are not big car buyers.
The Kias price tag is more affordable than many of its rivals and also the company is making a big push to attract younger consumers.
It also has a much lower upfront cost than other luxury brands.
K-Mart and Kia are the two major competitors in India.
The Indian luxury segment has been largely dominated by luxury brands like Daimlers Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Audi and BMW.
These brands have been successful in selling luxury vehicles with low upfront costs, low upfront taxes and the use of environmentally friendly materials.
In the luxury car market, Kias brand is in a class of its own.
It is the only brand in India to offer a brand new vehicle every year, and has been selling more than 50,000 vehicles every year since 2010.