By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Reporter
KIA PHILIPPINES President Emmanuel A. Aligada said the company has lowered its sales target for the current year, as economic challenges such as the falling value of the Philippine Peso are making it hard for the automobile manufacturer to meet its original target of 6,000.
The company is now targeting “a little over 5,000 sales” for 2022, Mr. Aligada said on the sidelines of a press conference in Parañaque City last week.
Kia Philippines sold 3,748 units last year.
On the external challenges affecting the company, he said: “[First is] the on-and-off situation on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); second is the economy itself. After the election, the foreign exchange moved all the way up to P56 (to $1).”
Despite the lower sales target, Mr. Aligada said that the company is still expecting strong sales growth towards the latter part of 2022.
The models driving the growth for Kia Philippines include its grand utility vehicle Carnival, mid-size sport utility vehicle Sorento, crossover Stonic, and subcompact sedan Soluto.
“[As for] our sales, we are at 30% growth from the January-to-June period. That 30% growth should further improve towards the end of the year,” Mr. Aligada said.
“Everybody is hit with supply concerns. We have been arranging for supplies to come in, and the fourth quarter is usually the kick-up. That’s the reason why we are confident that we will hit more than 30%, probably closer to 40%,” he added.
Further, Mr. Aligada disclosed that Kia Philippines is eyeing 50 operational dealerships across the country by 2024.
He said that some of the areas being targeted by the company include Northern Manila, parts of Central Luzon, Batangas, and Bicol.
“We now have 42 operational dealerships in the country. The objective is that by 2024, around 50 dealerships will be running,” Mr. Aligada said.
“The objective is to expand them (existing dealerships) to serve the communities they are in. The objective is that by 2023, we all have 50 locations appointed, with operations going up by 2024,” he added.
At the same time, he said Kia Philippines is looking forward to the signing of the free trade agreement (FTA) between the Philippines and South Korea.
“We’re eagerly anticipating it. That’s substantial if we can get it (FTA) sooner,” Mr. Aligada said.
Earlier in the year, Mr. Aligada said that the FTA would help Kia Philippines save 5% on taxes since the company sources the vehicles sold locally from South Korea.
“That’s a good sign for us to be more active in the market because of that 5% that we would be able to save on tax. A good number of our vehicles are sourced from Korea and together with other goods that would benefit from this treaty agreement, yes, we look forward to being more competitive,” Mr. Aligada previously said.
The Trade department recently said that the FTA between the Philippines and South Korea is estimated to be signed by November this year. The two countries began negotiations in June 2019 and concluded in October 2021.