If there is one thing you can say about the new Pope, it’s that he is somewhat unconventional in the way he approaches his position.
He has said from the start that he essentially wants to be a Pope of the people, which means foregoing some of the lavish trappings that those who have gone before him have enjoyed.
Never was that more apparent than in the decision that he made in the lead up to a recent visit to South Korea.
The Pope Francis had made it perfectly clear that while he was going to be doing the usual thing of going from place to place by car, he would not be doing so in a luxuriously overpriced vehicle.
There was definitely a lot of people surprised by his decision to choose the Kia Soul.
While the vehicle has been a sensation overseas, it has experienced some pretty sluggish sales on the domestic front.
Kia Provided 4 Soul Cars
Kia could very easily have taken this news and used it to launch a full scale marketing attack, but the decision was very quickly made that it would not be in good taste to use the Pope or religion to market their car.
The automaker were asked to provide 4 Kia Soul’s for the visit of the Pope, which they were more than happy to do.
While Kia stood by their decision to not use this as a marketing ploy, there is no denying the impact of having their car seen on a global scale via television. They may not have asked for the exposure, but they certainly ended up getting plenty.
Pope’s Vehicle Choice Spurs Sales Of New Kia Soul In Korea!
The biggest impact that was made was on the domestic front, though, as Kia saw sales of the Soul surge (in South Korea) to never before seen levels during the visit of the Pope.
In July, sales of the car were averaging out at about 20 unites per day, but that number jumped to 33 during the period from Aug 11-19, with the Pope in the country for 4 of those days.
Furthermore, Kia sold 52 units on the day that the Pope left, which was a sales record.
These numbers are all the more impressive when you consider that August is generally a slow month for sales in general.
Kia Donates All 4 Soul Cars
There has been a lot of speculation as to what would be done with the 4 Kia Souls that were used during the official visit.
The mystery is now over, as Kia had revealed where they will end up.
A pair of the vehicles will be donated to the Vatican, as they have made it known that they want to make the Soul one of the Pope’s official vehicles.
Another of the cars has been donated to the Archdiocese of Seoul, while the fourth and final car will be put on display for the general public.