While GM has reached a deal with Penske to sell off its Saturn brand, the future for dealers is anything but certain and Korean automaker Kia is hoping to capitalize on that.
Kia dealerships are often in either rural areas or less popular urban areas because land in high-traffic and densely populated urban areas is just too expensive. With both GM and Chrysler eliminating dealerships in urban areas, Kia intends to take advantage of this opportunity and make a big push. And with many well-appointed and nicely designed Saturn dealers conveniently located in those higher traffic areas, Kia hopes to convince Saturn retailers into switching to the Kia line.
In an interview with Automotive News, Kia executives said that the fact the Saturn dealerships are new and ideally-located is important, but the main factor is their availability.
Kia is targeting Saturn dealers in three main ways. First, it is looking to buy Saturn dealerships that are closing or closed and convert them to Kia dealerships. Second, it is seeing if any operational Saturn dealerships are interested in switching to Kia. And third, Kia is seeing if Saturn dealers who aren’t interested in the first two are interested in opening up a separate Kia franchise.
[Source: Automotive News via Autoblog]