Kia is considering a new benchmark for factory warranties in Australia that would back its vehicles for seven years.
The Korean brand introduced a seven-year/150,000km warranty across Europe in late 2006 and is now looking to bring the peace-of-mind offering to Australia after years of tinkering with the idea.
A seven-year warranty would extend Kia’s current five-year warranty that is already among the most generous in the industry. It would also surpass the six years that French brand Citroen introduced in March 2014 for a number of its models.
Kia Australia’s chief operating operator, Damien Meredith, said “Probably” when asked by media if it would look to bring in the seven-year warranty available in Europe.
"We are considering and costing that [seven-year warranty],” said Meredith. “I think it's assuring for buyers. I think it’s assuring for consumers that the warranty is going to last longer than their ownership of the car.
"I think most people with cars get 32 months of ownership on average."
Kia Australia’s revelation comes as the seven-year warranties first offered on the Cee’d small car sold in Europe start coming to an end. The company extended the offer to cover all models in 2010.
Kia Motors’ president and chief executive, Paul Philpott, said the long warranty introduced in Europe and the UK – and transferrable from owner to owner — had proven to be successful and proved wrong cynics who believed it would be a short-term measure only.
“[The seven-year warranty] is still here and remains the most easily understood and extensive warranty in the new car business,” said Philpott.
“It was a statement of confidence in our quality and manufacturing back [then] and it remains that today with more and more retail customers than ever benefitting from it.”
Kia Australia told CarAdvice earlier this year it was unlikely to engage in a 'warranty war' with Citroen, though the brand is now focused on improving its brand recognition in Australia - and giving it greater points of differentiation to sister company Hyundai.
Kia’s current five-year/unlimited kilometres aftersales coverage is matched by Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Peugeot and Renault. The industry average is three years.