Kia sets 1,500 monthly sales target for Stonic
[THE INVESTOR] Kia Motors, the nation’s No. 2 carmaker, pulled the wraps off the new Stonic subcompact SUV on July 13, with plans to sell at least 1,500 units a month.
The carmaker said it clinched 1,500 preorders since it began on June 27, with its major target customers -- in their 20s to 30s -- making up 57 percent. The carmaker hopes to reach 18,000 units annually.
The figure is one-third of its bigger corporate sibling Hyundai Motor which set the monthly target of Kona subcompact SUV at 4,300 units. The carmaker said the downsized number is because Stonic is only offered in diesel powertrain, whereas Kona is available in both gasoline and diesel powertrains.
Kia’s latest Stonic will take on market leader SsangYong Motor Tivoli, according to the carmaker.
“The compact SUV market has expanded tenfold in the last five years to reach 110,000 units in Korea,” Park Han-woo, Kia Motors CEO said at the press conference. “Kia is introducing Stonic that is armed with style, safety and affordability to meet consumer’s needs.”
With Stonic, Kia has completed its extensive SUV lineup that ranges from the largest Mohave, to midsize Sorento, smaller Sportage, eco-friendly focused Niro and box-type Soul.
As for possible cannibalization within Kia’s compact SUV offerings, the carmaker said it will focus on marketing efforts to differentiate the target group.
“Stonic, touted as the first car for drivers in their 20s to 30s, is focused on design and affordability,” said Kim Chang-sik, Kia Motors vice president. “Niro is targeted at customers in their 30s to 40s who emphasize fuel economy and space availability. As for Soul, it is a box-type car with different concept from Stonic that sells well in the American market.”
Stonic’s main selling point is its price tag, according to the carmaker. The price starts at 18.95 million won (US$16,680), the cheapest diesel car among its compact car rivals, and reaches up to 22.65 million won for the highest Prestige trim.
Powered by 1.6-liter diesel engine mated to a seven-speed double clutch transmission, Stonic delivers maximum 110 horsepower and 30.6 kilogram-force meters torque. Its fuel economy stands at 17 kilometers per liter.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)