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Monday, June 17, 2024

Kia scores a hattrick, as dealers name it UK’s best brand

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Automobile Magazine
Editor | News | United Kingdom

Kia has been named the top brand by UK dealers for the third time in a row, in the latest National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) Dealer Attitude Survey (DAS).

The Winter 2024 edition of the DAS was carried out between the end of January and the start of March 2024, asking dealers questions about the ongoing business relationship with manufacturers.

With a rating of 9.23 out of 10, Kia was named the top brand overall in the all-important question, “How would you rate your manufacturer overall”, following a high response by 72 percent of Kia’s UK 190-strong dealer network. For comparison, the average across all brands was 6.6 out of 10. Kia has now achieved a top three ranking in the last 16 successive NFDA surveys, clearly underlining the strength of partnership the brand has with its dealers.

Kia scored top in 31 of the 58 questions asked throughout the survey, importantly indicating the strength of the brand across all areas of the business. These include all core topics: value of the franchise; operations; dealer/manufacturer relationships; product & marketing; and electric/plug-in vehicles.

Kia claimed the top spot in every EV topic throughout the survey, including satisfaction with “Battery Electric Vehicle products your manufacturer currently offers?” (score of 9.3 out of 10), made poignant with 2024 the first year of the government’s ZEV mandate.

Efforts made towards apprenticeship programmes was also appreciated by dealers, with Kia the top-ranked volume brand with a score of 9.2 out of 10. The company opened the doors to its all-new Kia Academy at the start of the year, located in Derby and with capacity to welcome 1,500 annual apprentices and adult learners.

The latest DAS results confirm a hattrick for Kia, having won both surveys in 2023 and prior to this consistently being named the top volume brand in the UK by dealers.

The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers in the UK. There are more than 4,500 franchise outlets in the UK and over 540,000 people working in the automotive retail sector.

NFDA’s Dealer Attitude Survey (DAS) is a twice-yearly survey of the relationship between franchised dealerships and manufacturers throughout the UK and remains a critical barometer in understanding the intricate dynamics between those franchised dealerships and their respective manufacturers.

Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), said: “NFDA would like to congratulate Kia for consistently displaying excellence amongst the dealer network and ranking as the top brand for a third consecutive time.

“In this edition of NFDA’s Dealer Attitude Survey, Kia ranked top in each topic regarding electric vehicles, a fantastic achievement especially as manufacturers work towards the transition to electric.

“We are confident Kia will continue to exemplify this excellence moving forward.”

Paul Philpott, President and CEO of Kia UK Limited, said: “We are thrilled to once again be named as the number one brand in the latest NFDA survey, and for the third consecutive time. This result is a testament to the strength of our relationships with our dealer partners, with whom we work so closely. Importantly, we have listened and learned from one another, and our customers, to build Kia into the diverse brand it is today.

“With the recent launch of our new flagship, the fully electric seven-seater EV9, we are furthering our appeal and attracting new customers to the brand, which ensures a healthy mix of new and existing interest in the brand.

“We have just achieved our best ever quarterly sales, which follow our best-ever sales year in 2023, itself following 2022 when Kia first reached more than 100,000 sales in one year. This isn’t isolated growth but the culmination of years of hard work, investment in our people, trust in our product and faith in our customers.”

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