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Kia continues global sales march

2008-01-21 07:47
Kia Motors announced an increase of 3.5% in its global sales of passenger, leisure and commercial vehicles.

By region, Kia experienced a 5.1% year-on-year sales increase in North America where 340 293 units were sold.

A 4.3% increase was posted in the European market where 343 090 units were sold.

Kia's best-selling model in overseas markets, for the second consecutive year, was the Cerato, of which 186 561 units were sold in 2006. This was followed by the Sportage compact SUV, Rio and Picanto. 89 510 and 89 471 units of the Cee'd and Sorento mid-sized SUV were sold respectively.

The Cee'd is Kia's first car developed by Europeans for the European market, and in its first year of sales was the most decorated Korean car in automotive history when it won eight "car of the year"-style awards. According to the manufacturer, this helped boost its passenger car sales by 8.2% on 2006 levels.

With Kia's increased focus on recreational vehicles, global growth in this sector increased by 2.3%.

Hyoung-Keun Lee, senior executive vice president and COO of Kia Motors Corporation, said, ?Following a relatively sluggish first half, 2007 resulted in a solid performance for Kia.

"It has been a tough auto retail environment and, in North America, for example, with what has been predicted as the worst industry sales for a decade, Kia returned consistent and solid sales growth.

?Most of Kia?s sales fluctuations between 2006 and this year can be explained by the usual consumer patterns surrounding the phasing out of models and introduction of new ones.

"However, a big Kia differentiator in 2007 was the ever-growing success of the cee?d in Europe, sales of which, as expected, came into strong effect by mid-year.?

In South Africa, Cee'd is expected to go on sale in the first quarter of this year.

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