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ATL's KIA moment

Dealership Set For March 1 Deadline

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor —
Auto & Entertainer
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, February 02, 2018

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IN preparation for its role as authorised dealer of KIA, earlier this week, ATL Automotive received a huge fleet of the world-leading South Korean-made vehicles.

“We are taking pre-orders for delivery on our opening on March 1 at our Kingston and Montego Bay showrooms,” Chris DaCosta, KIA's head of business at ATL Automotive, told Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine yesterday.

In September, ATL Automotive made the announcement that it would be adding the South Korean brand to its suite of offerings under a newly created subdivision dubbed ATL Tiger Automotive. The showrooms would be at its Oxford Road office in Kingston and Bogue City Centre facility in Montego Bay. The KIA dealership was previously held by Corporate Area businessman Dwight Moore.

DaCosta said he is expecting great things locally from the widely respected brand.

“It has a diverse product line-up that will appeal to a wide spectrum of people. As a brand, it wins awards for everything from design and quality to performance and reliability. In fact, it was a Most Awarded Brand by Kelley Blue Book last year — all at an exceptional price point. Wherever you go in the world, you'll see that KIA is right up there in terms of sales and reputation. We expect no different from our market,” he said.

“In terms of reliability, KIA has won the JD Power Initial Quality Survey for two years on the spin. And we'll hold a huge stock of parts at all times and have already forged a partnership with KIA's exclusive parts facility in Florida to ensure we have all the parts our customers need, when they need them. The close proximity of Florida will mean we'll always have very fast access to whatever parts we need,” he continued.

With regards to the models, KIA's head of business said ATL Automotive will be carrying the “full range” of vehicles. This includes: the micro hatchback; the Picanto; sedans in the five-door Rio and the four-door Cerato and Optima; the subcompact crossover; the Soul; the compact SUV; the Sportage; the midsize seven-seater SUV Sorento; as well as the midsize, seven-seater MPV the Carens.

“We will also be carrying the full-size MPV Carnival in both eight- and 11-seats, the versatile K Truck, and last but certainly not least, the amazing fully loaded Grand Touring Stinger in two versions — the 2.2L, 255hp and the 3.3L 365hp. We certainly expect great things from the two SUVs on offer: the Sportage and the Sorento,” he said.

DaCosta said customers who choose a KIA would be getting value for their money and a very safe vehicle.

“Considering the high level of quality, design and technology you get with a KIA, the price point is exceptional. We expect to be extremely competitive and will offer some of the most affordable passenger cars in the country. We've always said that Jamaica deserves better and we'll be certainly looking to challenge the norm with KIA. KIA will just be your best option,” he said.

“KIA's world-class line-up continues to earn quality, reliability and safety awards at an increasing rate, and only recently the Soul and Sportage received the highest marks in the IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus ratings, as did the Optima and Sorento before them. This is a reflection of KIA's continuous improvement and effort to improve all aspects of safety,” he continued.

Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, KIA began as Kyungsung Precision Industry in December 1944. It is South Korea's second-largest automobile manufacturer after Hyundai Motor Company, which owns a 33.88 per cent stake. Its US$1-billion Mexican manufacturing plant produces 300,000 cars per year.

In addition to sedans and SUVs, KIA also produces military vehicles with variants and other transportation equipment.

“Like most other countries you'll visit in the world, we expect KIA to become one of the leading brands in Jamaica in a very short space of time on every level. Given the quality of the cars themselves, the price point, the exciting reaction of the public since we announced we were assuming control, that's very realistic. Our mantra has always been that if the 'norm isn't good enough, we'll challenge it' and so we're looking for KIA to become the number one car brand in Jamaica within five years,” DaCosta added.

In addition to KIA, ATL Automotive is the authorised dealer for Honda, BMW, MINI, Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche.

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