KUALA LUMPUR : NAZA Kia Malaysia Sdn Bhd is upbeat on selling 35 per cent more cars next year, despite potentially more expensive car loans and higher fuel price. Bank Negara Malaysia is expected to raise its overnight policy rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to 3.25 per cent next year because of inflationary pressure and an increase in domestic demand. OPR is the benchmark for banks to charge interest rates on loans given to consumers and companies. Fuel price may also increase as the government seeks to reduce subsidies to various sectors. Naza Kia, which is the official distributor for Kia Motors Corp's vehicles in Malaysia , aims to sell 15,000 cars in 2014, compared with 11,200 units this year. In 2012, the company sold close to 13,000 units. "It will be a record year for us to sell that many cars. We are quite confident as demand for Kia cars, especially the new facelifts, is trending upwards," said general manager for operations Roshdy Hassan . Roshdy said 2013 was challenging for Naza Kia because of the general election and fuel price hike, which dampened sales in the early part of the year. The bigger issue, however, was the supply of Kia cars from its principal Kia Motors from South Korea . "Kia is a worldwide best-seller. In terms of production, Kia Motors could not cope with worldwide demand. We had to scramble for stock. For Kia Sorento and Rio, there is a three-month waiting period for customers currently. "We expect that to change as we have full commitment from Kia Motors for a consistent supply," Roshdy said after the Kia Regional Skill World Cup prize-giving ceremony here yesterday. The Kia Regional Skill World Cup is a biannual event organised by Kia Motors to determine the top master-level technicians from Malaysia , Singapore, Indonesia , Thailand , the Philippines , Brunei and Vietnam . Six winners were announced yesterday, including two from Malaysia . They will represent their respective dealerships at the Kia World Skill Cup in South Korea next June.
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