YOUNTVILLE, Calif. -- Kia Motors America plans to offer a certified used-vehicle program in an effort to boost resale values and support its first attempt at leasing.
Leasing is a key element in the automaker's effort to increase sales to 500,000 units annually by 2010, up from 275,851 last year.
As part of its plan, the automaker has reduced its reliance on fleet sales. Last month, about 10 percent of Kia's sales went to fleet customers, compared with about 15 percent in March 2005, said Ian Beavis, vice president of marketing for Kia Motors America.
"We want to keep fleet at 10 percent or less for the total lineup," Beavis said at a press event here. "We're doing a lot more to manage our residuals. The certified program is a very important part of that."
Certified programs generally increase demand for used vehicles and the value of those vehicles. High resale values permit finance companies to offer lower monthly payments to consumers, helping boost sales.
Kia plans to complete the details of the certified used program in June. Selected dealers probably will be asked to participate in a pilot program, followed by a nationwide rollout likely at year end.