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Sime Darby Kia Taiwan Takes Greater Heights in Celebration of the 10th Anniversary

A chat with the Managing Director of Sime Darby Kia Taiwan, Calvin Lee


Sime Darby Kia Taiwan (SDKT) celebrates a decade of excellence this year in line with its 10th anniversary. The celebration kicked off with the opening of a new office and a vibrant 2024 spring party earlier this year. To commemorate this celebration, the Managing Director of SDKT, Calvin Lee and the Taiwan team reflect on the brand and team's journey, alongside his aspirations for the future in the region. 

Driving Leadership Success through Passion


He began his career as a brand strategist with a passion for the automotive industry. Later, he pursued various roles including as a product specialist and sales management for several automotive brands. In May 2020, Calvin was invited by Joseph Lau Ka Fai, current Managing Director of Sime Darby Motors Taiwan to join Sime Darby, bringing with him his extensive experience and enthusiasm.

A collective effort to foster a strong sense of teamwork and collaboration proved to be successful, with sales nearly tripling in 2023, marking a significant milestone in Taiwan.

This achievement was not driven by price cuts but by focusing on enhancing brand image, refining products and prioritising customer satisfaction. The successful rebranding positioned Kia as a leading player in the EV market in Taiwan. The SDKT team’s efforts extended beyond boosting the brand’s performance. They also cultivated strong leadership within the team, inspiring valuable contributions and fostering a culture of excellence.

Growth and Recognitions


By embracing Kia's new brand slogan, “Movement that inspires”, and advocating new energy vehicles, the SDKT team increased brand presence through various experiential events. They successfully enhanced the quality of offerings and built mutual trust and relationships with dealers.

Under Calvin’s purview, Kia became the fastest-growing CBU brand in Taiwan driven by the ‘Can-Do’ team spirit. Notably, it has won consecutively the top prize ‘Taiwan Car of the Year’ awards with the Kia EV6 in 2023 and the Kia EV9 in 2024. The SDKT team’s efforts have garnered international recognition from Kia APAC, receiving honours such as the "2022 Most Innovative Market," "Best Brand Launch Campaign," "Best Product Launch-EV6 and Sportage," and "Excellence in EV Leadership" from Kia, with Taiwan being one of the only three countries awarded worldwide.

Embracing Corporate Responsibility


Reflecting SDKT’s commitment to Sime Darby's purpose in delivering sustainable futures, the team is committed to corporate social responsibility (CSR), and in making contributions to the nation. Among the recent initiatives, SDKT partnered with Lee-Ming Institute of Technology to establish an “EV Talent Development Center,” with the aim of nurturing the next generation of electric vehicle experts and engineers. SDKT also actively supports the development of children in remote areas, forging partnerships with food banks and youth organisations, providing donations to support underprivileged groups and the next generation, such as Hualien Meilun Junior High School football matches, King of Mountain (KOM) cycling tournaments and ironman races. The team has been instrumental in demonstrating their commitment in making a positive impact within the communities.

Overcoming Challenges to Drive Success


Throughout his career, Calvin has garnered vast experience in establishing brand concepts and realigning brand and strategic repositioning through various initiatives.
 
“I firmly believe that this synergy is a testament to our concerted focus on brand, product and people. It is the power to inspire others and continuously drive positive changes. I’m grateful for the support from Sime Darby and the dedicated efforts of the SDKT team; we are poised for a brighter future,” Calvin shared.

Calvin also reiterates the importance of fostering a culture of continuous learning and innovation. He encourages the team to view mistakes as opportunities for growth, advocating a spirit of mutual support over criticism. His motto "Don’t be afraid to make mistakes!" greatly reflects his mindset.
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