- Korean manufacturer places top priority on franchise development
Seoul 22 May 2002 - Kia Motors has retained Mitac, the U.K.`s leading motor industry performance development company, to devise an internal training program focusing on franchise development.
The move reflects an increasing trend within the Korean manufacturer toward hiring outside counsel for advice on its core business.
Senior executive vice-president Mark Juhn, COO and head of Kia`s international business division, says, "Kia Motors is a company with global ambitions. Our vehicles are already attracting a great deal of positive attention. Too often, though, the quality of our dealers is the weakest link in the chain. Improving the quality of our dealers is the first and most important step in increasing customer satisfaction across the board and raising the status of our brand."
S.K. Park, vice president of the overseas service division, heads the initiative. He explains, "The Mitac program will be split into two phases. The first will take place here in Korea to train our domestic staff in how best to support and administer the global franchise. The plan will then be rolled out to our network of dealers and distributors around the world."
Both executives agree that this is significant development for Korea`s second largest automaker. "Korean companies have a tradition of going it alone, with often predictable results," says Mr. Jung. "As Kia Motors becomes more international in its scope, we have to not only accept that there are companies out there with more expertise than we have but also to make use of that expertise whenever possible. That allows us to focus more intensively on our core business of manufacturing quality automobiles."
Mitac was established in 1978 and has provided services for some of the world`s leading automotive brands, including Citroen, Renault, Nissan and BMW.
Founded in 1944, Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.co.kr) is Korea`s oldest manufacturer of automobiles. A part of the Hyundai Automobile Group the company currently exports around 600,000 vehicles per year through a network of distributors that covers 160 countries. Kia Motors is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open.