The all-new Kia Sorento that launched here in 2015 has proved an impressive vehicle from the South Korean brand, and we’ve rated it accordingly (read our Kia Sorento reviews).
Buyers are seeing the value that it offers - but according to Kia Australia chief operating officer Damien Meredith, there aren’t enough buyers for the brand to be satisfied with the car just yet.
The big news for the brand is that 60 per cent of those vehicles were of the flagship Platinum variant, which is good for brand perception, but at the end of the day the brand would trade higher sales figures of the more affordable models for a smaller number of high-end models sold.
Meredith said the brand needs to address the situation, and something needs to happen around either the marketing of the vehicle, or the pricing.
“There’s definite room for growth in our Sorento sales. It’s a big segment. Lots of competition, but that’s good,” he said.
When asked if the brand’s marketing could focus on the SUV factor, as in toughness, Meredith said that’s where the big sellers get their buyers.
“Yeah I think that’s probably [fair], but that’s probably 40 years of Toyota marketing, too,” he said.
“We have to make a decision – do we go drive-away with the entry model, or do we say, 'okay, we’re going to put a lot more money into marketing'. It’s been fantastic for us, but I believe it can be a lot stronger for us,” he said.
Sales of the Sorento are up 13.9 per cent so far in 2016, but with a market share of just 3.4 per cent in the large SUV category, the company could soon consider drive-away offers on entry-level variants.
The current base model pricing for the V6 petrol front-wheel-drive model is set at $40,990 plus on-road costs. If it were to be positioned as a bargain offering, a price of $39,990 drive-away would be likely. Buyers could also expect the diesel SLi, listed at $49,490 plus on-road costs, to slip under $50,000 drive-away.
Both of those deals would represent savings of about $4000 over the list pricing.