Kia dealers will get 100,000 more units
LAS VEGAS -- Kia promised dealers 100,000 more units this year than last year in an effort to keep up the brand's momentum.
"It's a work in progress, but that's our goal," Tom Loveless, vice president of sales for Kia Motors America, said here on Sunday.
An extra 100,000 sales would be a 20 percent gain for Kia in 2012. The brand sold 485,492 vehicles in 2011, up 36 percent.
Kia dealers have faced tight supplies for months because high global demand has strained the automaker's production capacity. Loveless said some of the additional volume will come from Kia's plant in West Point, Ga. The automaker invested $100 million last year to expand production capacity to 360,000 a year, from 300,000.
Mark Scarpelli, president of Raymond Kia in the Chicago suburb of Antioch, Ill., and moderator of the make meeting, said a softening European market is freeing up cars.
Kia's Loveless: More output from U.S. plant
"What they're trying to do is get production from Europe, Asia — some of those markets where things have slowed or where they have some issues," Scarpelli said.
Kia has no major launches this year. In 2013, a large sedan sold overseas as the Cadenza or K7, plus a redesigned Sorento, will debut in the United States, dealers said after the meeting.
Loveless said about 110 Kia dealers will complete construction under the voluntary Kia Gallery facility program.
Loveless said he wants dealers to build Gallery stores "when it makes sense."
"I see that growing over time as dealers' earnings grow," Loveless said. "We don't have any edicts or goals or objectives or anything."
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