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page 36 September 2011 13Focus on emissionsKia is working hard to achieve a market-leading position for the CO2 emissions of its product line-up, and part of its success can be put down to the Intelligent Stop and Go (ISG) fuel-saving system.Available on selected models where the technology can deliver a significant benefit, it switches off the engine when waiting in traffic, and can restart almost instantaneously when needed again.It allows the EcoDynamics models in which it is used to further reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption from an already strong position, but in keeping with Kia's value for money philosopy it is not offered across the board as some customers, especially those whose cars will cover low mileage or are after the lowest P11D price, would rather not see higher up-front costs to reduce emissions."CO2 is now extremely competitive," says Hargreaves."The figures speak for themselves, but it's very important for our fleet customers and it's very important to us."they are on the list," says Hargreaves. "That means making cars that have a clear identity and that people want to drive. We're definitely doing that and I want company car drivers to start seeing us as a smart, quality purchase." Good product is crucially backed up by a network of 19 accredited business specialist dealers, as well as Kia's business centre.Hargreaves continues: "We had a 1.7% market share last year and we're over 2% so far this year."There is a plan to get a larger market share by the end of 2015, but we want to have a sustainable posi­tion in the market so growth will not be based on rental business."It will be based in what I call normal, mainstream ment gives Kia a huge opportunity to reach new fleet customers.But whether it's winning new business in the public or private sectors, Kia's new D-segment Optima will have a pivotal role to play."The car we've been missing in terms of our product range, especially where fleet is concerned, is a D-segment vehicle," explains Hargreaves."We didn't really have a D-segment car - a main­stream fleet product - but at the end of this year we will launch the Optima. That will not only complete our range, but it will ensure we maintain a fresh feel to the products we offer."The Optima is sure to appeal to many fleets and like the Venga, Sorento, Rio, Picanto and the Fleet News award-winning Sportage, it has Peter Schreyer's stamp on it.The highly-respected design guru joined Kia from Volkswagen in 2006 to become the manufacturer's chief design officer.Schreyer has been instrumental in Kia's rejuvena­tion into a maker of design-led, high quality, efficient cars that would appeal to retail and fleet alike.His track record includes the Audi TT, A3 and A6 and the new Beetle and Eos for Volkswagen. He also oversaw the Lamborghini Murcielago and Gallardo.But good product is one thing, getting company car drivers to pick Kia from a long list of manufacturers is another."Our challenge is not getting on to fleet choice lists, it's getting drivers to choose the cars once fleet business, whether this is user-chooser or autocratic."Its aversion to short-cycle business will help it maintain good residual values, which is especially important considering Kia's fleet aspirations.Hargreaves concludes: "When we're developing new product we're constantly asking ourselves what do we need to do to make it appealing to the fleet customer?"That starts with a good P11D value, the right level of CO2 emissions and a good level of standard spec­ification that a fleet customer wants. "I think the business we're beginning to win proves that we're getting that right and should broaden our appeal in the future."'Our challenge is not getting on to fleet choice lists, it's getting drivers to choose the cars once they are on the list." John Hargreaves, Kia's head of fleet and remarketing

14 September 2011 report KiaCars to appeal to fleetsCarens fulfils the role of a compact people carrier, but it was designed from Kia's large car platform.The model available in the UK is unique to Europe and is available with five or seven seats.There is a choice of 1.6-litre petrol or turbodiesel (CRDi) engines and five seats with entry-level Carens 1 specification, or the 1.6-litre CRDi engine with seven seats in mid- and upper-range Carens 2 and Carens 3. All versions have manual transmission, and diesel variants have CO2 emissions of 149g/km.Even the entry level Carens is well equipped, with alloy wheels, air conditioning, electric windows, CD/radio with auxiliary port and USB for MP3 players.The difference between five- and seven-seat versions can be largely explained by changes to the second-row seats. In the seven-seater they slide fore and aft and the backrests tilt, making it easier for passengers to climb into the two rear seats.CarensThe Soul is described as an 'urban crossover' and targets drivers who like to make a style statement with the car they choose.As with conventional small cars, the hatchback Soul has five doors, five seats and front-wheel drive. It is just over four metres long.It comes with a choice of a 124bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine or a 126bhp 1.6-litre diesel, while there is a choice of traditional equipment grades with the entry-level Soul 1 and higher specification Soul 2. But customers can also choose from themed equipment lines, such as Tempest, Shaker and Burner.All manual and the automatic diesel version have CO2 emissions below 160g/km.The suspension was fine-tuned in the UK to give responsive handling with a supple ride, making it the first Kia specifically developed with UK roads and drivers in mind.SoulIt has become important for car manufacturers to offer a choice of cars in a particular size or price bracket, and the Venga fits the bill for those who need a small and manoeuvrable car with improved versatility as well as low running costs.Diesel versions, with prices starting at £13,295 on the road, are all equipped with EcoDynamics technology and ISG systems to help improve fuel consumption.Those versions achieve 65.7mpg on the combined cycle, together with CO2 emissions of 114g/km, putting them in the lowest BIK tax bracket available to conventional diesel engine cars.Despite using the same basic platform as the boldly-styled Soul, the Venga's appearance is more akin to a conventional small car. It has a longer wheelbase than the Soul helping maximise the interior space available for occupants.VengaThe Sportage has evolved to become a stylish and desirable compact crossover, combining the appearance of a compact 4x4 with the running costs of a hatchback.The line-up of four engines, includes new, highly efficient 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol and 1.7-litre turbodiesel units; manual and automatic transmissions; and the choice of front-wheel drive or intelligent all-wheel drive. Many versions have Kia's intelligent stop and go (ISG) system.A Fleet News Award winner this year, the Sportage perhaps has the most user-chooser appeal of the current Kia range, with eye-catching sleek looks, high levels of equipment and low BIK tax liability.All-wheel drive models are given the KX prefix to distinguish them from front-wheel drive variants.The 1.7 CRDi engine offers CO2 emissions of 135g/km and fuel consumption of 54.3mpg on the combined cycle, while both the front-wheel drive 1.6 GDi and all-wheel drive 2.0 CRDi fall below the 160g/km write-down allowance.Sportage