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Kia turns up throttle

BY RORY DALEY Observer writer daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, June 29, 2012    

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KIA Motors Jamaica launched its 2012/13 models at its Chelsea Avenue headquarters last Wednesday evening.

The line-up included the Kia Optima Sedan, Sorento SUV, and the Sportage.

Dwight Moore, President of Kia Motors Jamaica, said his company intended to continue the upward trend currently being experienced by his worldwide brand.

"Kia has more to come in Jamaica," he told the audience at the launch. "There will be some bold moves in the coming months."

Ian Lyn, vice-president of Kia Motors, sought to address issues affecting new- and used-car dealers.

"The new motor-vehicle import taxes recently instituted by the new government will be problematic," said Lyn.

According to him, with the 'almost instant' application of the taxes, vehicles ordered within the last three-to-six months will see consumers paying additional sums ranging from a low of $150,000 to millions of dollars on landing.

"The new tax package is applicable to about 97 per cent of the imported units and the Government sees this as a revenue stream," he said.

The vice-president also had high sales expectations of the company's latest offerings.

"It will knock the socks off the other brands. The prices will range from $3.3m to $3.8m and there are no other cars like these available at these prices. I would say the same for the Sportage. For $4m it has features that you'd only find on SUVs costing $8m to $10m."

He said Kia Motors Jamaica would be using new strategies to market both vehicles, while admitting that success would not depend on car sales alone.

"We have established a new multimillion-dollar parts and service centre to ensure that all our customers receive the after-sales support they deserve."

Keynote speaker Julian Robinson, Member of Parliament for the South-East St Andrew, thanked Kia for their corporate awareness through their school adoption programme. He also spoke on the government's proposed initiatives to provide the country with cheaper and cleaner fuels, as well as alternatives sources of energy such as LNG.

"I look forward to the effect these new Kia models will have on the car market. I'm sure the competition will have to look at what they're offering to the public and adjust accordingly to measure up to you," he said.

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