Kia Philippines Motor Corporation (KPMC), the official importer and distributor of Kia vehicles in the country, has just announced the leadership appointment of Brian Buendia starting July 1, 2023.
Kia in the Philippines was relaunched in 2019, under Ayala Corporation (AC) Industrials’ automotive arm AC Motors, one of the country’s largest automotive groups which carries global mobility brands. Since then, the company’s brand slogan “Movement that Inspires” has driven Kia’s commitment to providing consumer satisfaction through its products and services.
“As Chief Operating Officer (COO), Brian will lead the bolstering of Kia’s position in the industry rankings with the introduction of new models, and the strengthening of the distribution network in its dealerships which currently stands at 44 in strategic locations nationwide,” said AC Motors President for Automobile Group Toti Zara.
Buendia will likewise lead KPMC’s continued development of the electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem in the country, with Ayala organizations and other players as active partners. He will pursue what has been launched by Kia and the Ayala Group in transitioning the automotive industry into cleaner and more sustainable technologies. “Brian has been earnestly preparing and transitioning for his new role since January 1, 2023, closely looking at the local automotive landscape and getting the pulse of the mobility markets—local, regional, and global,” Zara further explained.
Buendia has been with AC Motors since 1998, earning an extensive career experience in sales, business development and network operations. This has also made him more than capable of anticipating—and carrying out—crucial brand and market executions for Kia in the future. Ultimately, Buendia’s leadership as KPMC COO would further enhance brand familiarity and affinity with even more Filipino motorists, as his extensive industry experience will enable him to determine the optimal products and services to suit the needs and aspirations of a much wider market base. This would include improved and innovative aftersales services, a seamless and continuous nationwide expansion of the dealer network, and gaining a firm foothold in the future of sustainable mobility, built upon the recent launch of the EV6 full-electric SUV—a crucial step towards Ayala’s promise of building the country’s full EV ecosystem.
“The challenges facing Kia in the Philippines are daunting. But, they are also opportunities that will inspire us to elevate this world-class brand to even greater heights in the local market. We will be stepping up our efforts to become an even more relevant player in the industry through innovation and technology in our products and services, contributing to the development of the economy while playing a significant role in sustainability efforts,” Buendia expressed.
The landmark achievements by KPMC President Manny Aligada, who is set to officially retire this June 30, will serve as the foundation which Buendia will build upon. Aligada spearheaded a revitalized Kia Philippines under Ayala management starting in December 2018. In just nearly five years, Kia Philippines became one of the fastest-growing car brands and an established key player in the local automotive industry. It was also recognized by Kia Asia Pacific (K-APAC) for achieving the highest growth rate in the region, as well as being the number one independent distributor in retail sales in 2022. Kia Philippines also launched several new models, including the Stonic subcompact crossover which has become the best-selling Kia vehicle since its 2020 launch, and the EV6, the first EV in the Ayala mobility eco-system.
“It is an honor to have served our internal and external stakeholders who have continuously supported Kia, enabling it to be among the best-selling brands in the country,” Aligada said. “And it is with such pride when I say that Kia Philippines set the ideal tone in starting our path to a sustainable future of mobility by introducing the multi-awarded EV6 as the ultra-modern face of Kia with its innovation and technology features,” he added.