From January 2010, CAT Group will process and distribute Kia vehicles to the carmaker’s dealerships in France via the Port of Le Havre, handling 20,000 new and 2,000 used vehicles per year delivered there by Eukor. The move marks a shift of activity from the Port of Antwerp for distribution in the country and means new business for CAT Group formerly handled by STVA.
The new calling at Le Havre will not affect the number of calls made to Antwerp by Eukor.
Last Friday CAT Group held an official event for VIPs at Le Havre who were able to witness the first unloading of vehicles from Eukor’s vessel Morning Lisa, including the latest Sorento model. Attendees were also able to observe vehicle processing through the company’s facility at the port.
“From January 1 we will supply Kia with a complete range of services,” said a CAT Group spokesperson. “The vehicles will be taken charge of, stored, prepared and finally distributed directly to the 150 brand dealers.”
The company will also be offering value-added services for the outfitting of special edition vehicles.
CAT Group is making a €1m investment in the facilities at Le Havre with upgrade work that began in October and which is due for completion in December. This includes upgrades to the workshop and car park, which will have overall storage capacity of storage for 11,000 vehicles.
In 2008, CAT Group delivered in excess of 2.2m new cars.
The Port of Antwerp is attempting to stem losses in freight volume and has recently announced that it will freeze port dues in 2010 at 2009 levels. Port spokesman Marc Van Peel admitted: "Nobody can deny that the port of Antwerp has lost some trade in the past years due to the overly rigid work organisation in freight handling.” However, this was not given as the reason for the shift by Kia.