Kia's top marketer spots a promising segment -- minivans
Minivan sales have shrunk to about a third of what they were 12 years ago when they peaked at nearly 1.4 million. But Kia -- never more than a minivan also-ran -- sees opportunity in the segment.
Kia Motors America marketing chief Michael Sprague expects minivan sales to grow more than 25 percent by 2016. And he says Kia will grab a bigger share of sales -- simply by not abandoning the segment.
The redesigned Sedona, which debuts in two years, will be based on the KV7 concept that debuted at the 2011 Detroit auto show.
Sprague: “There is opportunity.”
"We are seeing so many exit," Sprague says. "There is opportunity in that."
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has said the Dodge Grand Caravan will be replaced with a crossover to end duplication with the Chrysler Town & Country. Dodge sold 110,862 Grand Caravans in 2011.
Last year, 472,398 minivans were sold in the United States, a far cry from 1,371,234 in 2000.
By 2016 "it is a 600,000-unit segment," Sprague said. "Granted, a good number of that goes to fleet but there are still a large number of families" with more than two children who prefer the functionality of a minivan.
Kia's minivan has struggled -- 24,047 Sedonas were sold in 2011. Its best year was 2004 at 61,149 sales. The Toyota Sienna was the No. 1 selling minivan in 2011 at 111,429 sales, followed in order by the Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey and the Town & Country.