Kia UK has cut dealer service rates for fleet and business users in a bid to attract customers back to the dealer network for servicing work.
The new Kia Business Service Promise allows any Kia qualifying fleet car to benefit from manufacturer servicing at a highly competitive national hourly business-labour rate of just £49 plus VAT. Business customers also receive a 10% discount on parts prices, MOTs priced at £35, and a free vehicle health check on every visit.
There is no subscription, and the ‘Promise’ is open to any qualifying Kia fleet customer at any of Kia’s 192 UK dealers.
The move is part of the ‘Kia Business Service Promise’, designed to keep fleet and business customers mobile, as well as improving the residual value of cars through having a Kia dealer service and repair history.
Additionally, the ‘Promise’ has a no quibble policy to keep fleets mobile, in the event that a car is taken off the road for a warranty issue. Kia will assist with putting a driver in a like-for-like vehicle where possible or offer support with existing hire car costs to ensure continuity of job-need vehicles, although there are no plans to offer licensed replacement vehicles for taxi or private hire users.
Kia has been one of the strongest brands in the UK market in 2022, sitting third overall and at number one in the fleet sector, with 60% of all sales this year going to business customers.
Kia had a UK fleet market share of 8.8% year-to-date, by the end of September, with fleet sales just short of 50,000 units sold (49,866). Kia is on course to sell more than 100,000 cars in the UK this year, the first time it has hit the six-figure milestone.
John Hargreaves, Kia UK general manager for fleet and remarketing (pictured), said Kia had been successful as it had kept a presence in all parts of the fleet sector, including daily rental, motability and the taxi sector. “We’ve sold around 2,000 e-Niros this year to taxi and private hire users, so it’s an important market for us,” he said.
Many of the cars have been supplied to drivers looking to go electric via intermediaries such as Ottocar, Splend and WeFlex. Hargreaves said Kia also had its own dedicated programme for Uber drivers, which allowed them to access an EV fund created by the ride-hailing company.
Kia has not been so badly constrained in supply terms as Korean manufacturers have been less badly hit by the shortage of microprocessors as much of Kia’s supply comes from Korean suppliers such as LG and Samsung rather than Japanese or US suppliers that have lost production through various issues – including factory fires and a Japanese tsunami.
Hargreaves said the lower servicing costs were designed to address the perception that dealers were too expensive. “Fleets traditionally miss out on all the benefits associated with main dealer servicing, because there is a fear that they’re more expensive or that they’re mainly focused on retail customers,” he said.
Kia is fast progressing towards achieving one in every two cars sold being an electrified (plug-in hybrid, hybrid or electric) model. In 2022, 17% of sales have been battery-electric EV6, Niro or Soul models.