In its April 15th issue, the Washington Post reported that Korean car manufacturer Kia is exploring the world’s most competitive market, the U.S midsize car market, with “value” as its weapon.
In an article appearing under the headline, “A South Korean Value Strategy”, in a special section on automobiles, the paper said that “OPTIMA’s sales strategy is clearly optimistic, and some realists would readily call it fantastic.” It went on to add that the sedan provides all kinds of attractive details, designed to allure consumers to buy once they see and touch it.
The article introduced the details of the vehicle such as air conditioner, power windows, locking system, alloy wheels, fog lamp, sunroof, airbags in the front seats and sides and additional ones designed to protect the driver’s knees, and concluded that it is sold at a reasonable price of about 20,000 dollars.
Warren Brown, auto reporter for the Post who wrote the article, said that the OPTIMA SE V-6 with 170 hp “is a good car” comparable to Hyundai’s SONATA in every way, although it was still too early to gain the same level of consumer trust as either the latter, Toyota’s Camry or Honda’s Accord has won.
Aware of this situation, Brown continued, Kia planned to target first buyers who had used a second-hand car, rather than compete with the market leaders such as Camry, Accord or Ford’s Taurus. He also said that, like Hyundai, Kia was taking advantage of the strategy of offering a variety of warranty programs including the 10yr/160,000km warranty on its engine.