The Russians do not want to buy a budget car, so the Korean brands “shoes” in the premium K900 is going to surpass “Mercedes”, a new compact crossover, the competitor Hyundai Creta, will appear next year. Read more about the premieres of last year and some plans for the future portal, “Avtograd” said managing Director of “Kia motors Rus” Alexander Migal.
KIA has become the most popular foreign brand in Russia in 2018. A whole series of new products, long range and impressive dealer network – the components of this success. And yet – the availability of the budget sedan that was bought a little less than churchkhela at the Sochi beach. Or was it more complicated?
Alexander Migal, managing Director of “Kia motors Rus” opened the portal “Avtosklad” some corporate secrets.
– The past year without reservations can be recorded in the asset “KIA”. And could it be better?
– Is it necessary? The Russian subsidiary has fulfilled all the tasks entrusted to it: we sold 227,000 cars. An absolute record, notice all the time presence of the brand in Russia. So the result completely satisfied to change anything I wouldn’t.
– That is the goal to catch up and overtake the LADA in 2018 was not?
– This goal is generally not worth it. Why? Only to become a # 1 brand? Sounds great and pompous, but at what cost? If one day we will be able to become “number one” for the Russians without reservation – it will be great. But it must be done honestly, by organic growth, not global discounts and operate at a loss. So while we rejoice in the first number among foreign car brands.
– Who is today the main competitor of KIA in Russia?
– The answer is simple: our main competitor is ourselves. The fact is that to stay on top is much more difficult than to ascend. Kept, but the effort is worth it! You need to offer, offer and offer. Often, even to go for broke. Otherwise, the Russian buyer in the party not to persuade.
– What is he so cool, the Russian buyer?
Oh, this is a very difficult customer! The needs of the buyer consists of three components. First, our people are very technically savvy and versed in many processes, knowledgeable in technology. Secondly, it likes a variety of options and highly appreciated feature cars. And thirdly, where without it, not willing to overpay. To find a balance extremely difficult, but we still succeed.
– And the Russian consumer loves brands. What do you say on this subject in connection with the recent presentation of the new flagship sedan K900?
– Our new flagship – a brand new car that has nothing to do with Quoris. Even the name is different. We have tried to implement in this machine all that is best in the global car industry: developments and technologies, design and options. Tried to make the premium more affordable.
– Pricing not yet announced who his main competitors you will not tell. Maybe tell who’s the buyer?
– First of all – the owners and holders Quoris sedans, the German and Japanese premium brands. Customer profile: men over 40 who may be able to get behind the wheel, and the driver put; successful entrepreneurs and managers who know a lot about cars and know how to count money.
– Portrait of the idealist. In Russia a man moves on the car with the star on the hood. What you convince?
– Quality finishing materials and quality of service, pricing policy. Besides K900 will be all-wheel drive, as requested by our customers. Our new flagship is a very balanced proposal.
– Four-wheel drive is great. But how can you offer a specific service if the machine will come to the same masters and the same dealerships, and KIA Rio?
– Premium models we will highlight the particular professionals as well as a special zone for communication with clients – the premium receipt.
– Wouldn’t it be easier and more competent it would be like the elders of Hyundai, to create a premium brand? Two cars you have for these now is – K900 and Stinger.
– The fact that both of these models we need to enhance the brand value of KIA. With one hand, it is necessary to increase the residual value of our vehicles, on the other – to attract a greater number of car owners in the dealerships. Therefore, the Stinger, K900 was, is and will be under the brand KIA. In fact it’s the vector of our development.
– How many “Stingers” you sold successfully in 2018?
Approximately 2400 cars. Anticipating the question about the maximum configuration, say, of them with a V6 motor – about 10%.
– Stinger is the only “Pro image” or “about the money” too?
– We have no right to do something solely for the sake of our image. Of course, about money. It’s just that these models can be little more than a long payback period. But if we want to be on the first lines – it is necessary to bring such models.
– Transcribe. We all thought that the first place you solely because of the KIA Rio that thousands of copies of “stamp” in Saint-Petersburg.
– In 2017, “Rio” accounted for half of all our sales. In 2018 about 40%. The proportion of technologically advanced vehicles in our portfolio is increasing every year. In 2019 percentage of “off-budget” machines will be even greater. If we do not follow this trend, then slide down from Olympus. Therefore, the K900 and Stinger.
– Last year you had a lot Premier. What particularly highlight?
– Each of our new products were important and necessary. For me the most important is the Sportage. With this car we have confirmed its leadership in the segment of midsize crossovers, came on sales of 3000 cars a month is a very serious achievement. And given our competitors is doubly exciting! On the second place put Optima, which took the second place in the class. And this in a year when there is a new Toyota Camry!
– And how Ceed?
– New Ceed more in the car “tomorrow”. The segment now is very complicated. First, it greatly shrunk in recent years. Secondly, competitors is very strong. Here and the Ford Focus and Skoda Octavia, the VW Golf is back on the new Mazda3. But the proposal should be varied, besides, it is always avtoljubitel who want s-class. Now the market is restored, these customers are becoming more. Tomorrow the owners will want the KIA Rio car is better and more interesting, more modern and richly equipped. We want to choose our car. And we are willing to wait. Therefore, Ceed!
– Much more down to earth premiere-2018 – KIA Rio X-line. As she gets on the same platform with the KIA Soul?
– Very simple: they choose completely different people. All questions will disappear when we bring a new generation of Soul. It will happen in 2019. And now, you are right, we have two similar structural elements of the car, both compact urban crossovers. One “X-line” aimed at a larger audience and needed today, and the other “soul” – more demanding, but it requires a compact car to navigate the city. It is the task of tomorrow. A wide range of cars allows us to keep both of these models, which we use.
– Who then competes Soul, in your opinion?
The main competitors monoprivodnom VW Tiguan, Nissan Juke and Toyota C-HR. Once the car is upgraded, you will understand why these three SUV’s I mentioned.
– A much more expected premiere would be a new large crossover Telluride, which you recently introduced overseas colleagues. Mohave isn’t it time to retire?
– Is not it time! Telluride is built exclusively for America and the capacity of the plant, according to our calculations, exactly enough to meet only one of the American market. Besides, the only crossover is equipped with a powerful gasoline engine. In short, a complete set, which today is at Telluride, do not allow us to bring him to Russia. But the point in this matter no one calls – everything can change.
– So Mohave is?
– Is working on a new machine. Over a direct replacement for today’s Mohave. Exactly when the SUV is ready, will he wear the same name – don’t know yet. One thing is for sure: for two years we show a new car that will replace the Mohave.
– Another long-awaited new product from KIA is a compact crossover, created in the image and likeness of the super popular Hyundai Creta. When should we expect it?
– He is on the way. Next year we will definitely introduce this car.
– Even talking about localization.
– But on this question I will not answer. Not my area of responsibility.
– A new plant for the production of engines for Rio will lead to lower prices on your most popular car?
– About this we will talk when the plant was built and run. Here the question is no longer to the plant, and to the economic situation in Russia. In theory, Yes, the plant needs to give us the opportunity to reduce car prices. But the level of inflation and other economic factors can neutralize our intentions. We will wait and see!
– By the way, about the engines. You left the diesel engines in their crossovers, while other brands from this option got rid of. Why?
– Yes, the segment is not the most prosperous, but it is. Others have removed, and we left. And the diesel engine has become one of the competitive advantages of our crossovers. While this option has a financial feasibility study – we will continue to offer customers the cars on heavy fuel. I can not say about 2020, but in 2019 they’ll remain in the Russian dealerships.
The forecast, which gave to 2019 AEB, not the positive growth of 2-3%, i.e. at the level of accuracy. I would like to hear Your opinion.
– I agree with AEB. The first half will be spent on getting used to the new rate of VAT will be a small downturn and then everything will be restored. No global perturbations will not. The reasons for this.
– That is a new car better to go in the first half of when the dealers will experience a shortage of clients?
– I don’t think will be heavily discounted. “Drain”, as such, to wait for, certainly not worth it. All have become accustomed to the new reality, learned to count. Bagged warehouses today will not find. Remember, earlier before the New year and immediately after announced great discounts for cars? The last two or three years, this is already almost no one. So buy the car you need, and then only when you mentally and financially prepared for this large purchase.