Samson (left), Naza Kia Malaysia chief executive officer Ivan Kuan (right) and Kia Motors Corporation deputy general manager HM Sun posing with the new Kia Picanto during its launch yesterday. — Bernama photo
KUALA LUMPUR: Naza Kia Malaysia, the official distributor of Kia cars in the country, has targeted sales of 5,000 units of the new Picanto in 2018.
Naza Corporation Holdings Sdn Bhd group chief executive Officer (Automotive Group), Datuk Samson Anand George, said the model would account for 50 per cent of Naza Kia’s total sales target for this year.
“We are expecting the network to be able to do 5,000 units, which is just below two per cent of the total A- and B-segment yearly market share locally, which is close to 290,000 units.
“We are confident of the new Picanto sales figures being achieved due to it being an excellent product at an excellent price. We have not had the price at below the RM50,000 bracket for a very, very, long time,” he told the media after launching the model on the sidelines of the Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show 2018 (KLIMS’18) yesterday.
Powered by the same 1.2 litre four-cylinder engine and with timing belt as before, the completely knocked-down (CKD) Picanto is currently being offered as an automatic variant only.
Compared to its predecessor, the new Picanto is crafted with double the proportion of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS). It also has six airbags, placed in front of and along the sides of passengers.
It also has a seven-inch touchscreen at the centre of the dashboard, which besides housing a navigation system, can seamlessly connect to smartphone functions with its readily integrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with voice recognition features.
On outlook, Anand said the stabilising exchange rate was positive for the group.
“As long it (ringgit versus US$) stabilises at below the 4.0 level, we will see some growth in the auto segment. There is a possibility of the group introducing another three more Kia models this year,’ he added.
Besides the Picanto, Kia’s four-door compact sedan, the Cerato, and its new multi-purpose vehicle, Kia Carnival, are expected to contribute significantly to the group’s local sales.
Meanwhile, Naza Kia Malaysia Sdn Bhd Chief Executive Officer, Ivan Kuan said the company had allocated RM5 million as investment in five more sales, service, spare parts (3S) centres for Kia in the country this year, on top of the current 24. — Bernama
Source: Borneo Post Online