It looks like residents of Ohio's Lucas County, home to Jeep's Toledo HQ, aren't buying into the hype, even if they're the ones building the things. Part of it is that Kia plays in more segments than Jeep, so while the brands do compete, Kia has an edge. We're not saying we want to see a Jeep minivan. In fact, we wish that the money spent on the Compass would have gone into making the Patriot's interior better, or at least not so cheap, rather than trying to deliver a Jeep for every taste.
The fact remains that registrations of new Kias jumped 20 percent in the last year, versus Jeep's near stagnant sales numbers. Kia's price-leader status likely has a lot to do with that growth. Jeep's premium airs and SUV/CUV specialization also don't do the brand any favors when it comes to appealing to Toledo buyers. The desire for an affordable fuel-efficient vehicle, not necessarily in the SUV form factor, makes a good argument for buying a Kia. It would be interesting to see a more apples to apples breakdown, though, as the numbers are merely brand totals, not broken into segments. If you were to examine total sales of the parent companies, rather than just divisions, Chrysler crushes Hyundai/Kia in Toledo.
Thanks for the tip, Tom!
[Source: Toledo Blade]