Kia buyers are selecting higher trim levels, transaction prices are rising

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 6, 2010

It appears that car buyers are starting to select higher trim levels when they decide do buy a new car says Kia, proving that its effort to shed a value-brand image is working. Currently, the Korean manufacturer it’s trying to increase the production of the high-line EX trim version of the 2011 Sorento crossover, also known as one of its best-selling model.

Kia also introduced this month the Sorento SX, which starts at $32,990, a big increase comparing it to the base price of $23,190. But don’t think that for this money you don’t get anything because you are wrong.

The SX model comes as standard with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and 18-inch alloy wheels, as well as an SX-only instrument cluster, while a panoramic sunroof is optional.

The average transaction price for the 2011 Sorento increased dramatically from $21,500 in July 2009 to $25,600 in July 2010. Also, the average transaction price for the brand increased from about $17,908 to $19,559 in the same period, according to Truecar.com.

"We've seen a huge change in the mix," said Steve Hirashiki, Kia Motors America senior product strategy manager. "Before, we were selling a lot of base and LX, and now we're selling a lot more high-range trim, and in fact that's where we're running into some shortages."

"What is happening is really a changing point for Kia," said TrueCar analyst Jesse Toprak. "Consumers are choosing to buy Kia rather than having to buy a Kia. It is selling cars based on their merit rather than just on their pricing." [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: kia, price

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