(SEOUL) February 27, 2009 -- Kia Motors (UK) Ltd. has been named Car Maker of the Year by the leading motor trade magazine AM in its 2009 Awards.
Praising the company for its "increasingly strong" relationship with its dealers and for its "clear strategy" the award was presented by BBC News anchor Huw Edwards to Paul Philpott, Managing Director of Kia Motors (UK) Ltd.
The AM Awards, held in Birmingham, are judged by a panel of industry experts and analysts headed by editor Stephen Briers and reflect excellence in the UK motor trade with a particular reflection of views from the trade itself. Kia beat off stiff competition from Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Mini and Suzuki to win the title.
Edwards said, "With sales growing last year despite the market decline with a clear strategy, increasingly strong relationships with their dealers, and launching a number of great new products - Kia is fast becoming a true mainstream brand with great potential. Congratulations to Managing Director Paul Philpott and his management team for achieving such major advances. This award is really well deserved!"
Philpott commented, "Over the last two years the entire team at Kia Motors (UK) Ltd., has been focused on delivering strong, sustainable growth for our dealers and our business.
"We deliberately decided to re-direct our efforts to build the strength of our retail offering and withdraw from the excessive levels of daily rental and short-term business which paid off last year - despite a very challenging end to the year. That focus is continuing - as is our determination to develop strong partnerships with our dealers to deliver organic and profitable growth in the future.
"As we launch our exciting new Soul B-segment car we expect the retail appeal of our brand to continue to grow and so our continued withdrawal from high-cost fleet business will continue. The continuing difficulties in the market are a concern for everyone but Kia is determined not to be deflected from its path - even if that throws up a few monthly anomalies - because the route to a strong and secure future, for us and our network, lies in the retail business."
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.com) -- a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart -- was founded in 1944 and is Korea's oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world's premier automotive brands. Nearly 1.5 million vehicles a year are produced in 13 manufacturing and assembly operations in eight countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 172 countries. Kia today has over 40,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of over US$14.5 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and an official automotive partner of FIFA -- the governing body of the FIFA World Cup -- as well as a EUROTOP partner of UEFA. Kia Motors Corporation's brand slogan -- "The Power to Surprise" -- represents the company's global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.