The new boss of Kia Philippines has big plans ahead, with four new models coming in 2024
Joey Deriquito · Jun 23, 2023 04:10 PM
Kia Philippines recently held a round table discussion with members of the media. The South Korean automaker outlined its plans and strategies for the coming months.
We were also introduced to the new Chief Operating Officer, Brian Buendia, who is set to lead the brand starting this July.
At the discussion, the key members of the brand talked about its plans to better its after-sales service, expand its dealership network to 50 nationwide, and improve its service advisor and service technician skills.
However, the event's highlight was the announcement of four new models coming soon.
The automaker also announced that it would be launching four new models in the coming two years. However, they declined to mention the four models, only indicating that one would be New Energy Vehicle (NEV), the other a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), and the two remaining as Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles.
Kia Philippines did hint that the first two vehicles to launch will be a refresh of a current model while the other will be new to the Philippines model. One will be an ICE model, and the other will be a NEV hinting that it could be a hybrid.
Kia Philippines COO Brian Buendia also hinted that a new model coming “starts with the letter S.” The hint points to two possibilities: a Kia Seltos refresh with a new hybrid variant. At the same time, the other could be the Kia Sonet which could be the “new to the Philippines” nameplate they mentioned.
It could also mark the return of the new Kia Sportage, which does have a hybrid variant in other countries.
As for its future lineup of BEVs, there are many options for the South Korean automaker. The first could be the Kia Niro, one of the more likely vehicles to enter the local market alongside the Kia EV6.
The Niro is available as a hybrid, plug-hybrid, and a BEV, which makes it an ideal nameplate to bring in as it can be adaptable to the Philippine market, which isn’t ready yet for too advanced electric vehicles.
The Kia Niro is also made in Malaysia, meaning the automaker could take advantage of the ASEAN free trade area for zero tariffs.
As for a BEV, reports are eying the Kia EV9 as a possible candidate. However, outgoing Kia Philippines Manny Aligada stated during the event that “it requires a certain layer of technology that isn’t ready yet in the Philippines.”
It indicates that as much as Kia and distributor Ayala want to bring it into the country to tie up with its green initiatives, the level of technology available in the Philippines isn’t quite ready.
A car enthusiast at heart, nothing excites Joey more than an open road and a full tank of gas. Ready with the latest information about cars, he constantly studies and researches the latest happenings in the motoring world while caring for a car that's an extension of himself.