Wheels24

Kia stateside sales kickin' ass

2012-09-06 12:13

Kia is relishing its sales success in South Africa but is also set for a huge 2012 four percent market share in the US.

In 2011 the US figure stood at 3.8%, making 2012 the highest yet for the company, according to the Detroit News.

No surprise, though - the automaker has seen 17 consecutive years of growth in US market share.

REFRESHED CARS

The good news keeps coming: Kia plans to introduce seven new or refreshed models through 2013; among them are a redesigned Forte compact and a mid-size crossover Sorento at the next Los Angeles auto show.

Tom Loveless, executive vice-president of sales for Kia America, said: "We're going to have a very, very busy auto-show circuit."

Jim Hall, analyst at 2953 Analytics, said product upgrades would help Kia to shift the current perception of its brand.

"(Kia) needs to determine why a Kia is a Kia and not a Hyundai," Hall said, referring to Kia's sister brand.

Kia, which has re-launched the Soul every year since its 2009 debut, is doing so again in 2012 to capitalise on its growing popularity. Sales grew from 31 000 in 2009 to a projected 112 000 in 2012 and the compact has attracted not only a core of young buyers but consumers across all demographics, Sprague said.