Seven years after it introduced its seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty to the Australian market, Kia is seeing customers flock to the brand for other reasons – though it’s “always looking” at ways to improve buyer experience and satisfaction.
Chief Operating Officer of Kia Australia, Damien Meredith, told CarExpert the ownership program has “worked great” and long been a driver of the brand’s recent rise up the sales charts Down Under, but it’s no longer the main reason.
“I’ve said this a thousand times, it gave permission for potential customers to look at our brand, which was fantastic,” Mr Meredith said.
“But now, I don’t think it’s the driving force in regards to what [attracts] customers to buying our cars.”
“When we launched our seven-year warranty, people were buying our products saying ‘it’s got a seven-year warranty and it’s a great car’, and now it’s “they’re great cars and they’ve got a seven-year warranty,” Mr Meredith continued.
“We’re always looking at what’s good for our customers, and what’s good for the brand. [A longer warranty] is certainly not off the table but at this point in time our focus is on the new logo and our new branding position.”
Dean Norbiato, General Manager for Marketing at Kia’s local division, said the brand’s research shows warranty has dropped down the list of reasons to buy a Kia in recent years.
“For the first five and a half years of our seven-year warranty, it was the number one reason people purchased a Kia,” Mr Norbiato said.
“Over the last 18 months in our internal research that it’s now moved to third behind ‘Manufacturer’ and ‘Design’, so it’s proved to be priceless for us as a brand to get us into a critical mass.”
Kia Australia’s 7-7-7 package encompasses the seven-year unlimited-kilometre warranty, seven years of capped-price servicing and seven years of roadside assistance which can be extended up to eight years if you service with your Kia dealer.
The brand’s electrified models have a seven-year, 150,000km warranty for their high-voltage components, which includes electric motors, battery units and the on-board charger, while vehicles used for commercial purposes also see the warranty distance capped at 150,000 clicks.