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Kia Cerato set for 2018 boost

On the up: Kia’s Novo concept – shown at the 2015 Seoul motor show – might provide some pointers to the next Cerato small car due to be unveiled at the Detroit motor show in January.

Safer, better-connected new-gen Cerato to help maintain Kia’s sales momentum

23 Nov 2017

KIA Motors Australia (KMAu) says it expects its all-new Cerato small car due next year to continue the current model’s four-year sales growth streak.

So far this year, Cerato sales are up 45.1 per cent, helping KMAu to become the fastest-growing mainstream car brand in Australia.

Due to be unveiled at the Detroit motor show in January, the safer, more sophisticated version of Kia’s top-selling model is due to arrive in Australia in its sedan form in mid-2018, with the hatch landing about two months later.

KMAu chief operating officer Damien Meredith told GoAuto that Kia expected to sell about 20,000 Ceratos this year – well above the record 13,111 sold last year.

Asked if the changeover to the new model would affect Cerato’s momentum in 2018, Mr Meredith indicated the Cerato growth would continue, saying: “We will do 20,000-plus next year.”

So far in 2017, Kia has sold 15,977 Ceratos, meaning the company needs to sell an average of 2000 a month over the remaining two months of the year – double what it achieved in November and December last year – to achieve the 20,000 mark as predicted by Mr Meredith.

However, Kia has shown it can sell more than 2000 Ceratos in a month, shifting a record 2452 in the end-of-financial-year sale in June.

Kia is offering the entry-level Cerato S hatch and sedan with free automatic transmission at $19,990 driveaway, including no deposit and no repayments until February 2018. Similar driveaway offers apply to all other variants across the Cerato range.

Mr Meredith said the new Cerato would take a step up, not only getting a complete redesign but also higher safety specification at entry level and higher levels of connectivity across the range.

Although the current Cerato has a five-star safety rating from ANCAP, it lacks some new-generation crash avoidance aids such as forward collision warning and lane departure warning that will be necessary for five-star qualification under tightened ANCAP rules in 2018.

As Kia is committed to five-star ratings on all its vehicles, we expect even the cheapest Cerato to have these features in the new generation.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all current Cerato variants except the base Cerato S, but judging from Mr Meredith’s comment that connectivity would be improved, we expect these facilities – and the bigger touchscreen and MP3 compatible audio that goes with them – to also appear across the range in the new model.

Cerato is Kia’s best seller in Australia, ahead of the Sportage medium SUV (11,606 YTD), Rio light hatchback (5894 YTD) and Sorrento large SUV (3934 YTD).

Sales of all these models are all running ahead of last year, driving up combined Kia sales by a tick under 30 per cent – the largest increase of any mainstream motor company in Australia this year.

This is on top of the 26.5 per cent jump in sales last year when Kia sold 42,668 units.

This year, Mr Meredith predicts Kia will sell a record 54,500 units, a figure so precise because that is all the stock his company can lay its hands on from the Korean factories.

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