Launch of Carens and Joice Minivans Fuels Kia's Global Marketing Drive
- Carens and Joice minivans unveiled at the ’99 Frankfurt Motor Show
- Sponsorship contract signed with Hansa Rostock football club of the German Bundesliga
- Kia lights up Frankfurt with 40m neon billboard
Kia Motor Co. unfurled its sails for a major global marketing campaign as it unveiled its two newest minivans Carens and Joice at the Kapital Building in Frankfurt, Germany on Sept. 13, the eve of the 58th Frankfurt Motor Show. Over 300 of Kia's European dealers as well as journalists from around the globe attended the event hosted by Kia Chairman Chung Mong-Koo and senior company executives.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Kia not only to prove to the world that Kia has successfully normalized its management, but also to convey our new vision for the future and to reaffirm our commitment to the European market,” said a Kia spokesman.
Chairman Chung amplified the message. “We're here to show Europe our latest models but also to send a clear message that Kia is now back on its feet and is a strong contender. Germany is known as one of the toughest markets in the world and we've chosen it as the benchmark for our global marketing efforts,” he said.
“We're listening more carefully to our customers to understand and satisfy their needs. And we're redoubling our efforts to develop world-class technologies and higher performance automobiles," he added.
Kia's marketing efforts in Germany moved into higher gear as the company signed a sponsorship contract with Hansa Rostock, a football club in Germany’s premier Bundesliga and erected a billboard in front of Frankfurt's central railroad station, one of Europe's best-known and busiest crossroads.
Kia is aiming to export a total of 512,000 units this year of which about 20 percent, or 102,000 units have been allocated to the European market. This represents a 261 percent increase over last year’s European export total of 28,223 units. The launch of Carens and Joice will provide the momentum needed to attain these goals. In late 1999, the company is scheduled to introduce one more new model, the B-III, the successor of the Avella subcompact.
Advertising budgets have been increased significantly in order to reinforce local marketing. At the same time, a major effort will be made to develop innovative sports marketing strategies. But most important of all, the company has renewed its dedication to improve product quality and enhance after-sales service to meet the challenges of European marketing.
Timely Succession of New Models
Kia's overseas distributors are applauding the arrival of the Carens and Joice minivans which will enhance the value of their franchises. The Retona 4x4 also joins the lineup this month and in December, Kia will roll out the B-III. At the same time, the company will continue to provide full marketing support for existing models which include the Pride, Sephia, Shuma, Sportage, Clarus, Carnival, and Pregio.
Kia aims to export 20,000 units of the Carens, 7,000 units of the Joice and 5,000 Retonas this year. Advance orders for these new vehicles have already exceeded expectations for the year.
More Promotion Activities
Kia's 40m neon billboard in downtown Frankfurt serves as a fitting symbol of the new Kia. The billboard is located in front of the city's central railway station, one of Europe's busiest intersections which sees more than 500,000 commuters pass by each day. Kia's European marketing executives are confident that the billboard is a good investment in raising public awareness of the Kia brand.
Kia is scheduled to hold road shows in other major European cities while at the same time beefing up promotion activities through local press and other mass media.
New Emphasis on Sports Marketing
On Sept. 14, Kia signed a three-year, $5.4 million contract to sponsor the Hansa Rostock football club of Germany’s Bundesliga, the nation's premier football league.
Established in 1965, Hansa Rostock is the one and only East German football club in the league and is known to have a following of over two million fans. The contract not only requires the team to wear the Kia logo on their jerseys, but also permits Kia to erect stadium billboards and print the Kia logo on tickets and sport merchandise. Kia believes this sports marketing approach will contribute to a significant enhancement of the company's brand image.
Higher Quality Products and After-Sales Service
Kia will continue stepping up efforts to enhance the overall quality of its products and after-sales service by applying more advanced technologies to its automobiles and ensuring punctual deliveries. To this end, the company will continue to expand its after-sales service network. (http://www.kia.co.kr)