How Kia beat Hyundai to become Australia’s number one Korean brand in March

Australia crowned a new Korean car king in March, with Kia overtaking stablemate (and rival) Hyundai for the first time in its 24-year Australian history.

Kia moved some 5654 vehicles, which, in the midst of coronavirus craziness, is quite an achievement, especially given the result marks a 6.6 per cent increase on the same month in 2019, when it recorded 5303.

The result brings Kia’s 2020 tally to 15,479, up 4.5 per cent on the 14,810 cars they’d sold to this point in 2019. 

Hyundai, on the other hand, moved 5306 cars in March, which is down some 31 per cent on their results in the same month last year. The year to date tally now stands at 16,694 sales, or 18 per cent off where they were at this time last year. In Hyundai’s defence, it’s hardly alone there. Most major car companies in Australia have seen their numbers plummet this year, and the market itself is down13.1 per cent year to date.

March marks the first time in 24 long years that Kia has edged ahead of Hyundai in Australia. So what’s the secret?

We put that very question to Kia, with the brand here chalking up its success to the security of its seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, and consistency in the way it markets its vehicles.

“The seven-year warranty is a big part of it, and the consistency of our pricing,” says Kia Australia’s spokesperson, Kevin Hepworth.

“We’re not up and down (with pricing). If you come in on a Thursday and price your car, then go home and have a think about it, then come back the following week you’l find the same car for the same price, and there’s a confidence that comes along with that.”

Which is all well and good, but Kia has somehow defied the market downturn (which has been contracting every month for the past two years) while those around them have watched their numbers plummet. 

But if you think Kia is going to spill on what they’re doing differently, think again. 

“We’re just a humble little Korean car company, and we’re just doing whatever we can do under the circumstances,” Mr Hepworth says.