Kia Canada sells its 1 millionth vehicle in Quebec
Walking into Kia Sherbrooke to shop for a new vehicle, Sonia Blais was not in high spirits.
The special education teacher from Magog, Quebec had recently become a single mother of two, with a looming divorce sapping her finances, an expensive holiday season at her door and an already harsh winter blowing over her Eastern Townships home.
But a new car is what she need, so after weighing her options, she picked out a Kia Soul, a stylish subcompact, delivered, of course, with Quebec’s mandatory winter tires. She paid via a roughly $25,000 loan, with financing.
The purchase also made Blais, unbeknownst to her, Kia Canada’s one millionth customer, a milestone that coincidentally lined up with the Korean brand’s 20th anniversary in this country.
Even more coincidentally, Kia Sherbrooke was among the brand’s first concessionnaires here, selling more than a handful of the first 1,417 Sportage and Sephias to hit Canadian shores back in 1999.
When Kia head office rang dealership owner Daniel Beaucage, from Groupe Beaucage, over Blais’ new purchase, he assumed it was over a problem with the order. Not quite, it turns out—
Blais was invited back to the dealership with her millionième Kia for a little ceremony this past Thursday, hosted by the new VP and COO of Kia Canada, Elias El-Achhab.
She figured out from that she was in for some sort of surprise. Beaucage and co-owner Tommy Morissette started off by announcing a list of $2,000 worth of options they wanted to gift her — like a remote start to keep her warm, and a bike rack, since she’s a frequent rider.
Then El-Achhab interrupted the declaration: “C’est nous qui payons votre Kia Soul,” or “We are going to pay your Kia Soul.”
Blais croaked out a “Really?” before starting to cry. Kia means it when it says its cars have “the power to surprise.”
Morissette told Driving.ca that Blais really touched its sales representatives, and everybody at the dealership was so happy luck befell her in particular.
“She moved us with the work she’s been doing for the past 22 years with learning disabilities kids,” he said. “She said she never won anything in her whole life, but now she’s driving one of our vehicles – her second Kia – we’re going to take very good care of her, and her Soul.”
For those wondering if a million vehicles is a big milestone, consider that, these days, about two million new vehicles are sold in Canada every year.
When Honda Canada celebrated its 50th anniversary March 2019, the manufacturer of Canada’s best-selling car, the Civic, claimed just over four million vehicles sold.