Business

Kia eyes more investments, presence in Jamaica

BY ISHENA ROBINSON Business Reporter

Sunday, June 24, 2012    

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KIA Motors Jamaica has signalled its confidence in the local market with the opening of a service centre in Kingston, accompanying further plans to expand its operations on the island.

The newly built centre is the product of a $30-million investment and will provide technical and mechanical servicing to Kia vehicles, as well as other brands. The company said the parts and after-purchase care facility is part of a larger aim to grab a greater share of the Jamaican market.

"We know that more and more people are buying Kia vehicles, and it is time to bring that trend to Jamaica," said Ian Lyn, vice-president of marketing and sales. "Kia is positioned for growth, and we will be capitalising on the opportunities that exist in the marketplace."

Toyota Jamaica is still the top seller of automobiles in the country, according to an Automotive Dealers Association (ADA) report on market sales during January and February. Korea-based Kia posted a 13 per cent-plus year-on-year increase in global sales in March, up from the 216,219 units sold in the same month last year.

The company's Jamaican operations will attempt to tap into that level of performance, said Lyn, adding that the current fiscal year will see more investments to help increase the Kia brand's presence here.

"We created a mix of over 30 temporary and full-time jobs during and after the construction of the service centre," he said. "As we move forward with our other plans, I'm happy to say that more jobs will be created."

Though mum on the specific details of those plans, the company is gearing up to unveil a number of new Kia models to Jamaican motorists next week. These include the Cerato, Sorrento, Optima, and Sportage. The Sportage and Cerato were among the company's best-selling models in overseas markets in March.

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