Ayala adds Kia to auto portfolio
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - December 6, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Ayala Corp., the country’s oldest conglomerate, has expanded its portfolio of vehicle brands with the addition of Korean automotive giant Kia.

Ayala subsidiary AC Industrial Technology Holdings Inc. has signed a distributorship agreement with Seoul headquartered Kia Motors Corp. (KMC) to distribute the Kia brand in the Philippines. 

AC Industrials will form a joint venture company with the previous distributor Columbian Autocar Corp., owned by businessman and Palawan Governor Jose “Pepito” Alvarez. It will be the majority owner of the joint venture firm.

The Ayala Group is targeting a relaunch of the Kia brand in the country by January 2019.

“We are very excited to partner with Kia Motors in re-introducing the Kia brand to the Philippine market. With Kia’s dominant position globally, this partnership will undoubtedly boost AC Industrials’ automotive portfolio and enhance its position in the domestic automotive space,”  said Ayala Corp. chairman and chief executive officer Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

At present, AC Industrials’ automotive and distribution group distributes the Volkswagen and KTM brands in the Philippines and manages 26 dealerships in the country across Honda, Isuzu, Volkswagen and KTM. 

It will also distribute China’s SAIC Maxus Automotive Co. in the Philippines. 

AC Industrials is working to assemble a portfolio of automotive products and solutions that provide Filipinos what they need today while preparing to deliver what they will want in the future. 

AC Industrials Group president and CEO Arthur Tan said the company recognizes that the industry’s current megatrends – shared mobility, autonomous driving, vehicle connectivity and safety, and alternative energy – will dramatically reshape the way people own and use cars.

KMC is a global automobile manufacturer established in 1944 and an affiliate of the Hyundai Motor Group since 1998. 

It sold 2.76 million vehicles in 2017 in 185 countries through 24 sales offices and over 6,000 dealers. Collectively, the Hyundai-Kia group is the world’s third-largest automotive manufacturer, producing 7.25 million vehicles in 2017. 

In a joint statement, Ho-Sung Song, executive vice president at KMC headquarters in Seoul and Steve Lee, president of Kia Motors Asia Regional headquarters in Kuala Lumpur said: “We are pleased to enter into a strategic partnership with the Ayala group, with its excellent reputation and deep market knowledge, to accelerate the growth of Kia in the Philippines. Together we will offer a refreshed, competitive model lineup and an outstanding sales and service experience.

We also look forward to gradually bringing to the Filipino market many of the disruptive technologies now reshaping the future of the automotive industry.”

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