OSLO - Kia has started catching up on debts to its European distributors.
Importers received money from Kia in early March that should have been paid six months earlier.
'The delay of payment is only temporary,' said Young Keun Oh, general manager at Kia Motors Corp. 'We hope to be able to present a 1/8New Kia Motors' later in March. We will have a new structure with Ford/Mazda as the largest shareholder.'
The payments involved warranty work. Some accounts were settled with parts and cars rather than cash, according to the importers.
Kia says it is planning a $16.4 million marketing campaign in Europe to advertise price reductions of 5 to 10 percent. The Korean currency has devalued by half since the crisis in Asia began last year.
Daewoo retailers have also complained of payments delayed by six months.
'We do not like this situation,' said Gunnulf Bergheim, president of the Norway's Daewoo importers.
Like Kia, Daewoo is reducing prices for cars exported to Europe, but Bergheim said the price cuts only apply to new orders, not existing stocks which are plentiful.