Brian Buendia - Kia Philippines COO 2023

A new leader in the Kia Philippines roster has come aboard, and the ship is going to sail into a new horizon pretty soon. With a wealth of experience and tenure with AC Motors, Buendia will lead Kia Philippines into a new phase as its Chief Operating Officer (COO). 

Brian Buendia - Kia Philippines COO 2023

Buendia has been with AC Motors since 1998. After nearly three decades of experience with the automotive arm of the Ayala Corporation, he will be bringing his expertise to the table of Kia Philippines, with their Movement That Inspires into a new chapter. 

“Dynamic, innovative, and inspiring. These are the pillars upon which my vision for Kia Philippines is based. We will refine the Kia buying and ownership experience by bringing our corporate identity and culture to the fore; strengthen our industry rankings through the introduction of new and exciting models; expand our already growing nationwide dealership network; and, establish Kia as a major player in the rapidly growing electric vehicle (EV) market through our EV6 and future new energy vehicle (NEV) models."

The expectations with onboarding Buendia will bring about a few more products in the brand’s future. With models like the EV6 already in the market, it’s expected that Kia will continue to bring even more dynamic, innovative, and inspiring future products and programs for the Kia brand through his leadership. 

As for the other aspects of the business, Buendia’s entry will bring about a few other changes and tweaks to the current Kia experience. One of them would be to improve customer experience and lessen downtime when a vehicle is in need of service or emergency repairs, and also parts availability thanks to a new partnership with Entrego. On Time Delivery for emergency parts within Metro Manila will also be Kia’s commitment to its clients. Also, programs such as the Kia National Skills Cup, will continue along with the continuous improvement of Kia’s sales and aftersales personnel through regular dealer manpower training, certification programs, and audits. 

Brian Buendia - Kia Philippines COO 2023

Buendia is entering at a time when the Philippines is performing well in the automotive market. In 2022, the market closed at 370,000 units sold, and the 2023 outlook seems to be on track with pre-pandemic levels expected—about 400,000 units sold. 

Kia Philippines is set to outace the industry growth in 2023 by double digits, and the brand is also expected to expand its network to 50 full-operating dealerships nationwide by 2024. 

By 2027, Kia Philippines is expected to have 15 electric vehicles in its lineup by 2027. Internal Combustion Engine models like the Stonic, remain volume drivers for the company, but more innovations are expected soon. Following the Stonic, the Soluto, and K2500 remain volume sellers for the brand, and the brand managed to grow by 19 percent despite supply limitations in the first half of 2023. 

Kia Philippines is aiming for more widespread electric vehicle adoption in the near future, and it is expected to expand even further with current EV incentives in play which includes an exemption from excise taxes until early 2028, and a 30 percent discount on registration, inspection, and renewal fees. More infrastructure dedicated to EVs will be built, and the brand is also expecting that by 2027 up to 14 percent of the market will be of the electric variety. 

Brian Buendia - Kia Philippines COO 2023

With Buendia’s background and experience in sales, business development and network operations, Kia Philippines is confident in his ability to anticipate and carry out crucial brand and market executions for Kia in the future. “Kia Philippines is already a major player in the local industry as well as in the region,” says Buendia. “Kia Philippines became one of the fastest-growing car brands locally and 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. I will build upon these accolades to further steer Kia Philippines to greater success.”

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