Who’s laughing at Kia now?

Old 01-27-2012, 12:01 PM
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Default Who’s laughing at Kia now?

Maria Soklis is talking about the confidence and maturity that comes with age and a little success, and she’s not talking about herself, her kids, her favourite niece, or even her fellow employees at Kia Canada where she’s the chief operating officer.

No, she’s referring to Kia, the upstart global brand with grand ambitions in Canada and around the world. Kia also has what looks like just the slightest chip on its reinvented shoulder. Just the slightest.

The rock comes from having to keep over-achieving in a brutally competitive global car market, where even Kia’s sister brand, Hyundai – part of the fifth-largest car company in the world, Hyundai Motor Group – is viewed as a competitor. No, Hyundai is actually a fierce and determined rival.

“I think we are more mature, more confident than we were six years ago [when Soklis joined Kia Canada],” she says at the launch of the 2013 Rio compact sedan. She then goes on to tick off objective measures of success: increased market share, better residual values, improved brand awareness, profitability, owner loyalty – by all these measures and more, Kia is making a lot of progress in Canada.

Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...rticle2316250/
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