Fresh from entering another decade of my existence, it gives rise to some evaluation of what’s important and how much cars have changed over the years.
Having received the first driving licence back in the late ’70s, there was only one thing on the mind and that was buying the first car – a second hand, primrose yellow Opel Kadett B.
Those were less indulgent times compared to how much more demanding we have become in terms of our choice of transport these days. Back then there were fewer options and fewer brands to choose from. Kia didn’t exist in Ireland then, neither did Hyundai nor Lexus, Ford were still selling the Escort, and Nissan was Datsun.
Nowadays the choice is vast even within the catalogues of brands themselves. All are trying to eke out sales in where ever they can. Currently the fad is to sit a little higher in our cars, there’s growing interest in hybrids and electric cars, the re-emergence of petrol power over diesel and the demand for technology are just a few of the latest considerations.
In more recent years, Kia has become a really serious player on the international motor scene and here in Ireland too. Indeed, Kia is one of the few car makers to have increased sales in Ireland in 2017 despite the overall market dropping by 10%. The Korean brand is a top ten regular (8th this year) with sights firmly set on the top five.
This week’s test car, the Kia Stonic is, in itself, the definition of what they are doing right and why their customer base is growing.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.