Kia Australia is planning to offer more colour and trim options, as well as shorter windows between placing an order and having your vehicle start coming down the production line.
It’s no secret that the Korean brand offers a number of exterior and interior colour and trim options in its home market as well as overseas that generally don’t make it to Australia.
According to Kia’s local chief operating officer, Damien Meredith, that could be changing within the next two years.
“We’ve been big on keeping things as simple as possible,” Mr Meredith told CarExpert.
“If product planning had their way we’d have 15 colours [for everything], but we like to keep things pretty tight and simplistic. But with OTD (Order To Deliver), it is going to happen.”
“It will happen where a customer will come in and say ‘I want this, this, this and this’, and then in 90 days they’ll get their car in production. It’s not happening tomorrow, but in the next couple of years it will.
Mr Meredith and Roland Rivero, general manager for product planning at Kia Australia, confirmed that more choice in colour and trim options will form part of this process.
Unlike its Hyundai parent, Kia’s local division rarely offers the full colour and upholstery catalogue, let alone anything other than black even in its high-spec models.
Currently, the Stinger is the only model in Kia’s Australian range that offers more than one interior option, with the GT-Line and GT offering the choice of black or red upholstery depending on exterior colour.
In the past the Sportage, Sorento and Carnival have also offered light interior options locally, but with the current generations Kia Australia has pared them back to just one option.
The current Sorento and Sportage, for example, offer several choices in South Korea, with the former offering Navy Grey and Saddle Brown leather options as well as a six-seat configuration that are all not available in Australia, while the Sportage offers additional grey/blue and brown leather interior options.
The popular Carnival people mover offers a number of seating configurations abroad on top of the eight-seat interior that’s the sole option locally, including 9- and 11-seat layouts with four rows of seating, as well as a plush High Limousine version that would put a Mercedes-Benz V-Class to shame.
While it’s unclear exactly what additional options will make it to the Australian catalogue in the coming years, but for customers wanting more choice and more personalisation options – and from my knowledge of Kia’s ownership groups online, plenty of these people exist – this will be a welcome change moving forward.
Stay tuned to CarExpert for the latest on this new initiative over the coming 18 months. We’d also be super keen to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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