Kia breaks into Luxury Car Market
The South Korean auto maker, Kia is attempting to change its perception among Americans as the low-priced value brand. They recently unveiled their K900 sedan with a sticker price of right around $66,000. This sedan, they hope, will compete with BMW by strategically placing the K900 between the BMW – 5 and the BMW – 7.
This is seen as an attempt to reinvent the Kia brand. Changing public perception, though, is not always easy. Kia’s high-end model as of recent years, has been the $36,000 Cadenza. It is thought that this may be a tough market for the Sour Korean auto maker to break into. Competing with the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BWM and Audi is difficult in general. But for a previously value-branded automobile manufacturer, it could prove a hill to high to climb. Industry professionals believe that the South Korean version of this luxury sedan, the K9, has a much better chance of capturing a piece of the luxury segment than the K900 does in the United States, but the truth remains to be seen.
Kia did enjoy decent growth in the economic downturn of 2009 and 2010 as consumers looked more for value-branded automobiles. In fact, some statistics indicate that 2013 sales were up 96% from the year 2008. To many, it would seem that the auto maker has already positioned itself in a value market that is slated for growth for years to come.
Some testers who have driven the Kia K900 sedan have stated it was a bit disappointing. Also, it has been mentioned that Kia has a long way to go in the area of reliability ratings. This, too, may hamper the sale of a sedan with a sticker price of $66,000. The K900, however, may have the effect of getting consumers into the Kia showroom, where they may choose from one of the other 11 models in the value segment.
It remains to be seen if Kia’s plan to push their way into the luxury segment will have the intended effect. Perhaps being accepted as a value brand should be enough for the auto maker, but maybe this was just the leap the company needed to make room for itself in higher-end garages across the United States.