Coronavirus helped Kia reach CO2 targetsJune 12, 2020
Kia’s CEO for Europe, Emilio Herrera, said the South Korean firm is in a relatively strong position compared to its competitors during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the head of the Korean company, Kia’s business was less affected by the COVID-19 pandemic than its competitors. In fact, Kia believes that she really won in meeting the new tough EU CO2 targets.
“We think this will affect us less than the industry as a whole,” said Emilio Herrera, Kia’s chief operating officer for Europe. “We saw this in the first quarter: the market in Europe fell by 26%, and Kia – by 14.5%. Consequently, we have increased our market share. Typically, in a crisis, Kia behaves better than its main competitors. ”
Herrera refers to the Korean brand’s position as a “more rational choice,” along with its relative value and peace of mind provided by a seven-year guarantee, to explain its relative success in this difficult time for most companies.
The decline in sales was beneficial for average Kia car emissions, which should fall to about 95 g / km (before adjusting for a particular brand) by the end of 2020 to avoid fines.
“In the original plan that we had, we had to achieve the CO2 target by the end of November. With the new revised volume that we have, we will reach CO2 levels at the end of August, because the number of ICE cars sold has plummeted, but [sales] of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles have not declined, ”Herrera said.
Herrera acknowledged that it would be very difficult to recover lost sales as a result of blockages without the cardinal plans of the government to support the automotive segment. However, he referred to a survey conducted in China after lifting the restrictions, which indicates an increase in the use of private cars, suggesting that people will feel safer in their cars, so their operation will increase.
Another factor that benefits Kia is the increased supply of electric vehicles. The waiting times for e-Niro and Soul EV were long, but the problem is not so acute right now. In February and March, Kia sold more electric cars in the UK than in the whole of 2019 and intends to deliver them in the third quarter of this year.
However, Herrera said that in general the volume of electric vehicles delivered to Europe will not increase this year, but the situation will improve in the next few years, because the company will conclude the necessary agreements to ensure supplies.
The first EV, based on the new dedicated architecture that will be shared with Hyundai’s subsidiary brand, will be the serial version of last year’s Imagine by Kia concept. A novelty combining the features of a traditional sedan and crossover, oriented to performance, will appear in 2021.
Kia also expects that the number of diesel cars offered will be “truly minimal” by 2025, and that fuel will be reserved for the largest European brand models that require high torque and towing ability.
Herrera expects Kia to switch to 100% electricity in the second half of this decade, but he emphasized that the expected growth in electric car sales will only happen when governments are actively involved in their promotion.
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