Kia Australia is unlikely to engage in a 'warranty war' with Citroen or match the seven-year cover the South Korean brand offers its customers in Europe.
Early this month Citroen announced a six-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty on select models in its local range, eclipsing the five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty offered by Kia and sister brand Hyundai, as well as Mitsubishi, Peugeot and Renault.
Kia Australia public relations general manager Kevin Hepworth described the French manufacturer’s strategy as “interesting”, and said while management was likely to reassess its own warranty as a result, believed matching or beating Citroen’s new offer was not the company’s top priority.
“It will be considered as all things business related are,” Hepworth said, “but Citroen have just jumped to six, it’s not on their full range, it’s on quite a limited range actually.
“I don’t think it’s something that’s high on the agenda, but anything business related is always up for review.”
Kia Australia has been linked to an enhanced seven-year warranty numerous times since the start of the decade, most recently in August when former president and CEO Charlie Kim admitted the company was considering extending its aftersales protection program, though nothing has ever come of it.
Hepworth said Kia Australia had no plans to adopt the same aftersales program offered by Kia in Europe, which includes a seven-year/150,000km warranty. He said the local division believed its program, which includes unlimited kilometres and five years of capped-price servicing, was superior to the one offered in Europe.
Asked if Kia Australia would consider a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, Hepworth was doubtful and highlighted the increased cost of such a move, but said nothing could be ruled out.
“Once upon a time it was two years and 100,000km or 70,000km,” he said.
“Five years has been a market leader in Australia for a long time and we believe it is still very appropriate. But who knows, when you get pushed by market forces, sometimes things change.”