Tag Archive | "Kia Motors"

Kia Motors America Has Renewed Its Agreement with JM&A Group


JM&A Group, one of the largest independent providers of finance and insurance (F&I) products in the automotive industry. Together, they will continue delivering top-rated service contracts and added protections for Kia customers.

KMA first partnered with JM&A in 2007 to grow its dealer programs using branded F&I products and extended warranty services known as the Kia Distinction. Today, 716 Kia dealers provide customers with at least one of JM&A’s industry-leading products. Of those, more than 400 are enrolled in five service offerings.

“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with Kia,” said Forrest Heathcott, President of JM&A Group. “We have great momentum and expect another excellent performance year. JM&A remains committed to providing automotive dealers with strategic support and we look forward to helping Kia maintain superior performance and growth.”

Kia’s suite of branded products includes vehicle protection plan, maintenance plan, road hazard tire coverage, Term Care Select, Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) and CPO Wrap programs, as well as Paintless Dent Removal coverage, an added benefit for consumers who want to maintain their vehicles’ appearance over time.

JM&A also provides Kia dealers with F&I Training in associate development, consumer-friendly sales methods, compliance, marketing and e-contracting. Over the last eight years, the partnership has helped Kia build customer loyalty, boost dealer profitability and establish its CPO program as the industry standard among non-luxury vehicle brands. Kia Distinction product sales have increased by 25 percent and the Kia CPO program continues to experience retail growth at 43 percent.

“Our customers’ satisfaction and peace of mind is our highest priority, and providing our dealers with the best possible F&I products and training in the industry helps us ensure that the needs of Kia customers will be met,” said, David Carp, Director of Fleet, Remarketing & CPO, Kia Motors of North America. “We look forward to continuing this relationship with JM&A and utilizing the tools they help us provide our dealers.”

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Kia Motors Recalls Nearly 87,000 Forte Sedans in U.S. Due to Fire Risk


Kia Motors is recalling 86,880 Forte sedans in the United States because a cooling fan resistor may overheat and melt, increasing the risk of a fire, according to documents filed by U.S. auto safety regulators, reported Reuters.

The recall involves certain model year 2014 Forte compact sedans and is expected to begin on Feb. 24, according to documents on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

Dealers will replace the cooling fan resistor and multifuse unit in the recalled cars, and owners of vehicles with a 1.8 liter engine will also have the engine control unit software updated, the documents said.

The South Korean automaker reported several incidents of engine fires that could be linked to the resistor but no accidents or injuries, the documents said.

A Kia Motors representative was not immediately available for comment.

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Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors Aim to Raise Fuel Economy by 25 Percent by 2020


Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors said on Thursday they aim to raise the average fuel economy of their vehicles by 25 percent by 2020 to meet emissions regulations in South Korea, the United States and Europe, reported Reuters.

The announcement came after the South Korean duo on Monday agreed to pay $350 million in penalties to the U.S. government for overstating fuel economy ratings.

At home, they have also struggled to fend off imported rivals which have surged in popularity thanks to their fuel-efficient, diesel-powered engines.

In a statement, the South Korean automakers said they would develop next-generation engines and transmissions, reduce the weight of key models and expand their line-up of environmentally friendly vehicles to reach the target.

“In the first half of this year, group chairman Chung Mong-koo ordered to secure world-leading competitiveness in fuel economy by 2020,” Hyundai said in a statement.

Hyundai and Kia, which share key components, said they will replace 70 percent of their 10 gasoline and diesel engines with next-generation engines, while expanding the use of turbo-charged gasoline engines.

They also will develop more advanced transmissions.

The companies, which have steel making affiliate Hyundai Steel, said they will also expand use of advanced, high-strength steel to make vehicles lighter.

Hyundai and Kia, which together rank fifth in global vehicle sales, plan to launch a compact, hybrid-dedicated vehicle and the plug-in hybrid version of the Sonata sedan next year as part of efforts to beef up its eco-friendly cars.

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Hyundai-Led Group Agrees to $10 Billion Land Deal, Stokes Union Rage


Hyundai Motor Co and its two affiliates approved Asia’s biggest property deal since the financial crisis on Friday when their board members agreed to pay 10.55 trillion won ($10.12 billion) for a trophy plot of land to house a new headquarters in downtown Seoul, reported Reuters.

The Hyundai-led group – which includes Kia Motors Corp and Hyundai Mobis Co – agreed to the price, more than triple the appraised amount, prompting a sharp sell-off in the companies’ shares.

About 11.6 trillion Korean won ($11.11 billion) have been wiped of the market values of the companies since the purchase was announced last week.

Labor union employees, who make up the bulk of the companies’ workforce, voted on Friday to extend a strike into next week in show of disapproval of the purchase which will be used to house a new headquarters, hotel and theme park complex.

“Building an integrated control tower will enhance work efficiency and brand value,” Hyundai Motor said in its regulatory filing on Friday.

The Hyundai-led consortium, which beat Samsung Electronics to buy the plot in the capital’s high-end Gangnam district, plans to ink the deal with the state-run Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) later on Friday.

Shares of Hyundai Motor ended down 1.3 percent at 187,000 won each on Friday, their lowest level in 17 months. Kia Motors slipped 0.8 percent, and Hyundai Mobis was up 0.6 percent.

The $10 billion price-tag is equivalent to selling nearly half a million of Hyundai’s flagship Sonata sedans, and nearly two years of combined wages for Hyundai’s 63,099 employees in Korea, according to Reuters’ calculation.

Hyundai Motor will pay 55 percent of the price, followed by Hyundai Mobis Co Ltd with 25 percent and Kia Motors Corp with 20 percent, the companies said. They did not disclose whether the board approval was unanimous.

The boards of the three companies had approved bidding at the Sept. 18 auction without knowing the price, which was deemed confidential, four board members told Reuters earlier.

Board disapproval is rare at Korea’s family-owned conglomerates, or chaebols.

WORKERS EXTEND STRIKE

The land deal led to the domestic unions of Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors resuming partial strikes this week, clouding the outlook for annual wage talks.

Workers “are angered by the astronomical amount of money” to be spent on the land, Kia’s union said.

Hyundai Motor’s labor union said on Friday it would stage a partial strike from Monday through Thursday next week.

Hyundai, the world’s fifth-biggest automaker along with its affiliate Kia, has been hit by strikes in all but four years of the union’s 27-year history, although they usually make up losses with extra work later that year.

The stoppages comes as Hyundai and Kia are planning to build new factories in China and Mexico, closer to export markets and where wages are lower than in South Korea.

Recurring labor disputes, high wages at home and strong currency are expected to put further pressure on the automaker to accelerate overseas production. Hyundai made 62 percent of its cars last year overseas, up from 20 percent in 2004.

Since annual wage talks began in early June, Hyundai Motor and union negotiators have wrangled over a new wage calculation, which the company says would sharply increase labor costs.

Hyundai’s domestic employees, excluding executives, earn an average 94 million won ($90,419) per year.

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Hyundai, Kia Upgrade 2011 U.S. Sales Target


SEOUL – South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group said on Thursday it was aiming to raise its U.S. auto sales by 18.2 percent this year to 1.06 million vehicles, up from its previous target of 1.01 million.

The announcement was made during a visit to the United States by Chung Mong-koo, chairman of the world’s fifth-biggest automotive group which includes Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, reported Reuters.

Hyundai Motor is targeting sales of 624,000 vehicles in the United States this year and Kia Motors 433,000, the statement said. They sold a combined 894,496 cars in the United States last year.

Hyundai and Kia are among the fastest-growing automakers in the U.S. market, with their combined share reaching 10.1 percent as of May this year from 7.7 percent last year and 3.3 percent in 2001.

They plan to launch the new Veloster utility coupe and Rio subcompact in the United States to maintain their sales momentum.

South Korean media speculated Chung’s visit may be linked to Hyundai Motor’s possible construction of a second plant to meet booming demand in the world’s second-biggest auto market. The company, which currently runs a plant in Alabama producing the Sonata sedan and Elantra compact, has denied plans for a second U.S. factory.

Chung met the governors of Alabama and Georgia and visited Hyundai and Kia facilities in the United States, Hyundai Motor said in a statement. Kia’s U.S. plant is located in Georgia and manufactures the Sorento SUV and Hyundai’s Santa Fe SUV.

Shares in Hyundai and Kia were up 0.6 percent and 0.7 percent respectively as of 0151 GMT, in a nearly flat market .

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Kia Extends Resource Automotive’s Customer Service Program


CHICAGO – Resource Automotive Inc. announced that its “Fix It Right the First Time” (FRFT) program has been extended into 2011 by Kia Motors America (KMA), because of its successful implementation of the program with 100 participating dealers in 2010. Since the program was launched five months ago, 73 percent of participating dealers have seen improvement.

Addressing the most important consumer service concern – fixing it right the first time, the program conducts comprehensive assessments of dealership processes utilizing onsite Resource Automotive Specialists. Improvement opportunities are identified to enable enhancement of the entire customer service experience. Solutions are developed in collaboration with Kia District Parts and Service Managers and dealership management and employees, with the goal of 100 percent customer satisfaction – the first time, reported F&I and Showroom.

“Resource Automotive is proud to play a part in Kia’s success in improving FRFT. The benefits that can be realized through FRFT improvements are often overlooked. The epiphany experienced by dealership personnel as a result of the assessments is eclipsed only by our specialists’ ability to take advantage of it. All levels of the organization have contributed to the program’s success. Oftentimes, that’s what it takes,” said Randy Schwantes, national vice president for Resource Automotive.

“As part of Kia’s enterprise quality focus, FRFT is critical to our dealers’ ability to deliver the best customer experience in the business. With the support of Resource Automotive, our dealers, and Kia field personnel, we expect our dealerships to continue to improve and maintain the quality processes they are implementing,” said Scott Slade, manager of Owner Satisfaction for KMA.

The “Fix It Right the First Time” program is part of Resource’s overall dealership strategy to help Kia leverage the value of every customer touch point to enhance customer retention, acquisition and loyalty. Resource Automotive, established in 1964, has relationships with over 3,100 clients in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Europe, Latin America, Asia and Australia.

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