Conglomerate Ayala Corp. said it signed an agreement to distribute Kia vehicles in the Philippines, a deal that would expand the group’s automotive portfolio that currently includes Volkswagen, Honda and Isuzu.
Ayala Corp. said in a disclosure to the stock exchange wholly-owned subsidiary AC Industrial Technology Holdings Inc. signed a distributorship agreement with Korea’s automotive giant Kia Motors Corp. to re-establish the Kia brand in the Philippines.
Under the agreement, a joint venture company, with AC Industrials as majority stockholder, will be established in collaboration with the previous distributor―Columbian Autocar Corp. of businessman Pepito Alvarez.
A relaunch of Kia brand, under AC Industrials, is slated 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,” Ayala Corp. chairman and chief executive Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said.
Ho-Sung Song, executive vice president and chief operating officer at KMC HQ in Seoul, South Korea, and Steve Lee, president of Kia Motors Asia Regional HQ based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, welcome the strategic partnership with the Ayala group.
“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,” they said in a joint statement.
KMC is a global automobile manufacturer, established in 1944 and an affiliate of the Hyundai Motor Group since 1998. KMC 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.
Kia will be the sixth brand under the stewardship of AC Automotive, which is the vehicle distribution and dealership unit of AC Industrials.
AC Automotive currently distributes Volkswagen and KTM in the Philippines and is the country’s leading dealership group for both the Honda and Isuzu brands.
It also operates a nationwide network of 27 company-owned and 30 third-party-owned dealerships.
AC Automotive also formalized a partnership with SAIC, China’s largest automaker, to distribute the Maxus commercial vehicle brand beginning in 2019.