Kia Motors Corp. is benchmarking Volkswagen as it seeks to be the best-loved vehicle brand in the world, according to the automaker's vice president Hyoung-Keun (Hank) Lee. Kia hopes to be a "people's brand" like Volkswagen, Lee told Automotive News Europe in an interview. He stated that to hit the target, the company is utilizing Volkswagen models as its standard for the development of new vehicles.
For the new Kia Cee'd compact vehicle that will go on sale next year in Europe, Kia's target "in terms of ride and handling is the VW Golf," Lee said.
He added that they want to be the "world's best-loved brand," which automatically translates into market share and sales volume. Kia is targeting an increase of its yearly worldwide vehicle sales to 2.8 million in 2014 from an anticipated 2.4 million this year, Lee disclosed.
This year, the company's international production will be more than 2.5 million automobiles, including Hyundai models that Kia manufactures in its facilities in Slovakia and the U.S. Kia will boost production in the U.S. from 280,000 to 360,000 vehicles next year and it also has formidable sales targets in the country.
Lee said Kia is targeting a record 500,000 vehicle sales in the U.S. in 2012 from an anticipated 470,000 this year. Kia will not increase production capacity too quickly, Lee said. The company learned from Toyota, which ran into quality issues as it broadened worldwide production swiftly to be the No. 1 international car maker. [source: Autonews]