Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Watch Out for Kia

2

Comments

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,621
    edited November 2010
    I'm sure you know more about these things than I do, but in my probably very fuzzy-headed way I guess I thought Hyundai was successfully moving upmarket. I mean the Genesis and Equus have gotten fairly good reviews, right? I know sales are still small at this point, but it seems like a few people who want some taste of what Lexus would be like without paying full price are trying the attempted upscale Hyundais? But am I wrong on that?

    And the Sonata has moved more than a little, I think, from near the bottom of the mid-size pack to near the top. And Sonata's sales have zoomed up. Sales are up more than 60% so far this year, and as H seems to be selling c. 17,000 or so a month they'll get to about 200k by the end of the year. And now that they've added the turbo and the hybrid, in upcoming calendar 2011 they might get near 250,000 sales for the Sonata--which is pretty close to how many Accords are sold by Honda. That's pretty stunning to me.

    And the Sonata has even been added to Car and Driver's top ten list of cars. That's somewhat impressive, isn't it.

    And I could be wrong, but I don't think KIA is losing money, is it? Their sales are up and it seems like they are at least breaking even. So I'm not sure that KIA is draining the life blood of Hyundai. True KIA may not be helping them a lot on the bottom line, but I don't think they're bloodsuckers.

    Since the Optima is really a classic badge engineered near-twin of the Sonata, however, it does seem like KIA is, as you say, probably stealing sales from Hyundai.

    The Sonata is such a hit that I actually wonder whether that factory in Alabama that builds them is going to be allowed to make many of these Optimas. I mean when it comes right down to it if it turns out that every Optima built is a Sonata that's not built and therefore not sold....Maybe Hyundai as the bigger and more successful of the joined companies will just say. OK, we'll make 40,000 Optimas for you a year in Alabama, but that's it....???

    (And man, do I not want to grade student papers tonight to have spent this much time on cars I don't even own.....!)
  • Well the heading/subject for this topic has a ???? in it, so no, I don't claim to know any more than you do about it. KIA seems to be doing well -- I'm just not sure why--that is, I'm not sure if it's the genuine "hand of the market" or if KIA is a false positive right now.

    I think Hyundai can only go upmarket so far with their nameplate and then hit a ceiling, and I think they have definitely hit it.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    edited March 2011
    Or maybe, if the price is right, and enough content is packed into the car, consumers won't care about those deficiencies?

    Bingo. You put your finger right on the crux of the matter there, and perhaps one one of the keys to Kia's continued success? Although having a variety of wild-looking product that is different from the usual schlock being pushed by the Big 6 certainly helps too.

    People are saying they like what they see of the early looks at the new Rio. Imagine if they bring the European diesel Rio (1.2?) to America - that would be a game changer - a $15K (slow) car that makes 50-60 mpg. I still love the looks of the car with the hamsters in the commercial (Soul?), but the mileage sucks so I wouldn't consider buying one.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,068
    edited March 2011
    ...and will only do better due to an ongoing depression, (let's just call it what it is) and ever escalating fuel prices. It's the perfect storm in favor of a low-cost fuel-efficient make.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    KIA is doing better than I ever expected, but I do wonder about the low resale value. This is not a good thing for future buyers.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,921
    This may slow the seeming Juggernaut down a bit:

    "Hyundai Motor Co. said Sunday that labor strife at engine-parts maker Yoosung Enterprise Co. is disrupting automobile production for it and affiliate Kia Motors Corp., and warned a prolonged production halt at Yoosung could deal a major blow for several South Korean car makers"

    Labor Strife Disrupts Hyundai, Kia Production (WSJ)
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,921
    Not much of a "Death watch for Kia" when they're investing another big hunk of change in Georgia.

    Kia Spends $100 Million To Boost U.S. Production (AutoObserver)

    image
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    And they are opening a dealership here in town. Right where the Chevy dealership died.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,890
    Yeah, I think the death watch is over. When there's a Kia that I would seriously consider if I was shopping in the car's given class, that says something :shades:
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Well no "death watch", but it is a company that trades in price and style over technology and quality, so we'll have to see if that strategy works or not. Kia obviously wants the entry-level market on a number of starting levels.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    edited June 2011
    image2012 Kia Rio hatchback

    That I really do like and would find a test drive to be cool.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,890
    Well to be fair, even 5 years ago they didn't have any of the style, and the Koreans have been advancing in engine technology. As purchasing power and real incomes decline, along with their product improving (who says massive federal subsidies and bailouts can't work?), they have some future.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Well they've surprised me. I think my comments were directed more toward the idea that not only is competition fierce on the lower end but profits are smaller.

    You remember the old joke about one merchant asking another how he could sell his products at a loss?

    "I make it up in volume!"
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,890
    Wasn't that GMs slogan for a generation or so? :shades:

    The margins are lower for sure. I doubt Kia has to worry though, Koreans are very proud of their industry and their feds will step in again if the ship takes on any water.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    That's probably true. Many of the Asian economies work on systems that would scare American economists---but then, we seem to have operated on systems that failed to scare our own economists enough. :P

    Well, pot, meet kettle. The US gov'mint certainly seems to have kept GM and Chrysler out of the grave these last few years, and successfully so---
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    our Federalees don't even know where their own money is going to...remember that CSPAN of a month or so ago where the woman in charge didn't know how this huge chunk of Federal money was being allocated when she was asked that particular question? Scary, but true.

    We're not doomed but we're always ready to make a bailout...I...I mean a bankruptcy...ooops...I...I mean another ride in the NYC Cashcab or the CHI Cashcab...a reality.

    Now that America's problems are all solved I'm gonna go witness another Seattle Mariner's victory on the tube. I've got more important ventures to pursue.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    edited June 2011
    Oh that's probably more scare tactic than true...most government loans have very strict accounting and require lots of accountability. You'll hear all kinds of bad info on economics from the mouths of media.

    Fact is, bailouts of the car companies seems to have worked, at least for now.

    I doubt most car companies in the world would still exist were it not for some form of government assistance, either financial or regulatory or protective.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    one could probably Google what I am talking about for more details, and you're right, Hyundai was bailed out by the SK Guv-Mint, then they bailed out Kia.

    But this deal I say was on C-SPAN. All these kids now are watching our big, bloated Guv-Mint like a hawk so they can expose it's weaknesses. And they'll find them, our Guv-Mint is arrogant and won't care what these kids find out. Besides, unless they form an uprising, what's gonna become of this information, anyway? Ignorance is bliss, right?

    No, this lady was in some kind of a Timothy Geitner-type position, the newsperson formed a question about a big chunk of money being spent on something that lacked contact-ability, and this woman had no idea what he was talking about. I think the huge chunk of money was missing, that was it. And she didn't know where it had gone!

    But for sure the money was missing, though. Not all that hard for me to imagine such a thing with big Guv-Mint, actually.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Sounds like her job evaluation was missing, not the money.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    Sounds like her job evaluation was missing, not the money.

    Unbelievable. She certainly is still counting on those raspberry jelly donuts and Starbuck's coffee delivered hot and on the spot, though. Pathetic.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

2
Sign In or Register to comment.