The rumors have now been confirmed. Kia Philippines will now be handled by Ayala Corporation through its subsidiary, AC Industrials. This means that the operations will now be taken over by Ayala from Columbian Autocar Corporation.
The news was confirmed through a company disclosure posted in the Philippine Stock Exchange, and it says:
“AC Industrial Technology Holdings, Inc. (AC Industrials), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ayala Corporation (AC), has signed a Distributorship Agreement with Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) to distribute the Kia brand in the Philippines. To undertake this new business and re-establish the Kia brand in the Philippines, a joint venture company, with AC Industrials as majority stockholder, will be established in collaboration with the previous distributor, Columbian Autocar Corporation (CAC). A comprehensive transition is currently ongoing in line with a targeted relaunch under AC Industrials by January 2019.”
As stated in the disclosure, Columbian Autocar Corporation will not be out of the picture. Instead, the new distributorship will be a joint venture, with Ayala as the majority shareholder. Ayala’s acquisition of Kia Philippines expands the conglomerate’s current automotive portfolio, which includes Isuzu Philippines Corporation (15%) and Honda Cars Philippines Inc. (13%). Ayala is also the official distributor of Volkswagen under Automobile Central Enterprise Inc., as well as motorcycle brand KTM. Additionally, Ayala also manages 20 dealerships nationwide, with 11 from Honda and 9 from Isuzu.
A relaunch under AC Industrials is targeted at January 2019, as stated in the disclosure. If you’re currently interested in a Kia, it may be a good time to wait until further developments have been made. 2019 will indeed be an interesting year for Kia’s future.