AM paid a visit to the upgraded facility in The Linkway, Horwich, adjacent to Bolton Wanderers’ Macron Stadium and Middlebrook Retail and Leisure Park, to view the new look facility.
The new site will have an official opening event on the day of the AM Awards 2022, on May 12, but customers are already keeping an eye on its showroom.
Kia Bolton’s chief marketing officer, Lynsey Smethurst, called the changes a “radical shift for the brand” and said that while some final touches were still being applied, customers were “really keen to come and take a look.”
In the latest digital (April) issue of Kia Motors UK magazine, President and CEO Paul Philpott revealed that the new CI, the flagship of Bolton and Vertu’s Macklin Motors dealership in Edinburgh, will be rolled out at 40 to 50 UK retail locations this year ahead of the launch date. Target completion 2024.
It was a good time to ask Kia franchisees to invest, he said, as the brand looks to defy supply constraints to deliver 100,000 registrations in 2022 after franchisees achieved the strongest return on sales (RoS) in 2021, at 2.7%.
The new CI from Kia sees the brand’s dealerships divided into two distinct areas.
One area of the showroom is defined as the display area, while another – defined by parquet floors, wooden walls and in some cases wood-rolled ceilings – is defined as a customer experience area with a number of screens that allow access to the GForces-powered display system.
Showcase is a GForces product capable of displaying the entire Kia product range.
“If a regular showroom has eight cars, well, we have 10 different models in our collection, so it’s not possible to show everything in any of our showrooms,” Philpott said.
“This allows the customer to interact with the entire range of products. And if they build a car online through kia.com, then they can save that and recall it in the showroom environment as well.”
The Kia Bolton benefits from a separate service facility in nearby Futura Park, which is also set to receive a CI upgrade.
Meanwhile, adjacent Middlebrook Retail and Leisure Park is the UK’s largest integrated and sustainable scheme for employment, leisure, sports and retail.
Smethurst told AM that while the site is not surrounded by other auto retailers “there is a lot for our customers to do and our site means there is an opportunity for people to pay a visit to the Kia dealer section on their shopping trip.”