Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Tech True Colours

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Tech True Colours

Article excerpt

Excitement is building for Kia. Not that the uninspiring 'Shades of Grey' colour palette on the new Sorento would provide any indication.

Kia is spanking the automotive mainstream opposition in terms of growth, sales are up 30.8% year on year, and there is further proof the marque will maintain its upward trajectory.

The seven-seat Sorento SUV has been massaged for the 2018 model, headlined by new infotainment technology, better safety and an automatic transmission with two more cogs than the outgoing variants.

Prices are up across the range, starting from the entry level V6 petrol which has risen $2000 to $42,900 plus on-roads. Sorento's range-topping diesel, the most popular derivative, has lifted $500 to start from $58,990. "They (customers) have been willing to part with $60,000 since the car was launched," Kia Australia boss Damien Meredith said.

"There is a difference between an SUV and a sedan but people for quite a few years have been willing to pay good money for a great product which was Kia Sorento."

For Meredith, who has been at the helm of Kia for three years after time with Hyundai and a long stint at Honda, nearly everything he's touched has turned to gold.

Sales have doubled since his tenure, and he cites three reasons: "Great product, good dealer network and good management staff," he said.

"We are number eight in the marketplace. Stinger (sedan) has just been launched, our product offering is fantastic, so it's an exciting time. We'll do a five to 10 per cent increase on this new Sorento, we are very happy with the upgrade."

Many will struggle to spot the differences between model years.

New alloy wheel designs and changes to the bumpers offer a slightly sharper appearance and buyers certainly won't be standing out from the crowd with any outlandish colour choices. On offer is white, and metallic silver, metal, graphite, black, a new and blue hue, as well as a white pearl.

Product planning manager Rowland Rivero says the bland choices stem from "traditionally conservative" demand - even red has been culled globally due to lack of interest. …

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