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Kia aiming to make it a 48-month sales streak

2013 Kia Optima

Kia

Forty-seven months. That's the number of consecutive months Kia has managed to increase sales in Canada (sister brand Hyundai boasts the same 47-month streak, too). On the year, Kia's sales are up nearly 20 per cent.

What we're seeing here is two South Korean auto brands doing a multitude of things, all at the same time. I'll get to that. But it's also interesting to see where Kia is picking up market share in Canada, share that's up a full half-point over 2011 (to 4.7 per cent).

In a nutshell, Kia's gains this year have come almost entirely at the expense of the Detroit-based car companies. General Motors is the biggest loser, with market share down nearly two full points (to 13.5 per cent from 15.3 at the same point in 2011, notes DesRosiers Automotive Consultants). Ford may be the No. 1 seller in Canada, but in the last year the company has lost nearly a full point of market share (to 16.5 per cent form 17.4). And even high-flying Chrysler Canada, with sales up a healthy 5.8 per cent on the year, has shed a little share in 2012 (to 14.5 per cent form 14.6 a year ago).

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Given that Kia is conquesting domestic buyers in big numbers month after month after month, it's not surprising to see Kia Canada using Detroit-like tactics to juice sales – big discounts and gaudy promotions. Of course, Kia sees things just a little differently.

"Kia's sales success for the month of November was a result of Canadians (sic) interest in our complete product portfolio, which offers world-class designed vehicles combined with an impressive array of technology and safety features infused with value," said Kia sales director Jack Uczciwek in a statement. "Our entire model range has positioned the company to achieve 47 consecutive months of sales growth and surpass 5,000 vehicles sales in November for the first time in Kia Canada's history."

Note where "value" ranks on the list of reasons why Kia sales are booming: last. Car companies never like to talk specifically about pricing, but they all toss around the word "value." This allows them to tout not just pricing and sales sweeteners, but also those difficult-to-quantify added features that add "value" to a new vehicle purchase.

Make no mistake, though, if you are shopping for a vehicle, Kia is throwing plenty of real money into the pot – and spicing it up a with a Vegas-style game of chance that could slice away the cost of a new ride by as much as $25,000. It's called the WINterfest and for those of you who can answer a skill-testing question, there's at least a $1,000 discount available, and as much as $25,000 off a new Kia – a goody that can be combined with other Kia incentives such as 0.0 per cent financing on all 2013 models and a "Don't Pay Until Spring" promotion on selected models.

Deals of the Week likes Kia for the general transparency of its offers. Non-hybrid versions of the Optima sedan, for instance, can be had with at least $3,500 in combined discounts – more for those who bargain successfully for an additional dealer discount. The deals at Kia can also be combined with finance rates of 3.69 per cent for up to five years, or a 2.9 per cent lease rates for up to four years. Yes, Kia wants to stretch that sales streak to 48 months and is doing in December what it takes. Look out, Detroit.

At the luxury end of the market, Deals has noticed that Jaguar is doing a clearout of existing 2012 XJ models in anticipation of new 2013 XJs with newly-available all-wheel drive and a brand new supercharged V-6 engine. Take the long wheelbase version of the 2012 XJ at $95,500. Jaguar Canada has put in play a $15,000 factory-to-dealer rebate here for buyers who pay cash. Jaguar also has a $4,000 incentive for existing owners or those who are conquested from competitive brands. Your dealer can explain this in more detail, but if you want a Jag, thousands and thousands are on the table.

Speaking of cash, BMW has more than $4,000 of it to sweeten the deal on a 328i rear-drive sedan. You can combine that with 1.9 per cent financing for up to five years and whatever dealer discount is dangled your way. How is this possible? The weak euro and the strong Canadian dollar allow BMW – like all car companies with their own captive finance arm – to throw a bit of money at the marketplace that might not otherwise be available if, say, Greece and other weak economies were not in the Euro Zone, giving booming Germany a cheap currency to work with from home.

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Then there's Nissan Canada, which had an unimpressive November, with sales down some 8.1 per cent. Deals such as the current offer on the very fuel efficient Rogue crossover: $2,000 for cash buyers in a factory-to-dealer incentive. Perhaps that will juice sales in December.

As usual, Deals of the Week obtained pricing information from www.carcostcanada.com, among other sources. Consult your dealer for all the details.

2013 Kia Optima Kia Kia  

2013 Kia Optima LX+ auto

  • MSRP: $25,795
  • Freight, dealer prep, air conditioning tax: $1,555
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $750
  • Factory discount: $2,500 (Trading Dollars factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Factory discount: $1,000 (Kia WINterfest Everybody Wins $1,000 to $25,000 Program)
  • Taxable subtotal: $23,100
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $26,103
  • Can be combined with 3.69 per cent finance rate for up to five years or 2.90 per cent lease rate for up to four years

2011 Jaguar XJL Jaguar Jaguar  

2012 Jaguar XJL

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  • MSRP: $95,500
  • Freight, dealer prep and air conditioning tax: $1,450
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $4,750
  • Factory discount: $15,000
  • Taxable subtotal: $77,200
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $87,236

BMW 328i BMW BMW  

2012 BMW 328i sedan

  • MSRP: $43,600
  • Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $2,095
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $1,750
  • Factory discount: $2,500 (Alternate Cash Back factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Factory discount: $1,600 (Option Credit factory-to-dealer rebate)
  • Taxable subtotal: $39,845
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $45,024.85

2013 Nissan Rogue Nissan Nissan Nissan  

2013 Nissan Rogue SV AWD

  • MSRP: $29,478
  • Freight, dealer prep, AC tax: $1,850
  • Dealer discount (estimated): $1,000
  • Factory discount: $2,000 (Non-stackable Trading Dollars factory-to-dealer rebate on cash purchases only)
  • Taxable subtotal: $28,328
  • Total price with 13 per cent HST: $32,010.64

Pricing information source: www.carcostcanada.com. Calculations based on Ontario customers. Please note that while the information above is accurate at the time of publication, incentives are given at the discretion of individual dealers, and may be changed or discontinued at any time. Dealer discounts are negotiated with the customer on a case-by-case basis.

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About the Author
Senior writer, Globe Drive

In 25 years of covering the auto industry, Jeremy Cato has won more than two-dozen awards, including three times being named automotive journalist of the year. Jeremy was born in Montreal and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. More

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