Kia Motors (UK) Ltd., sold 3,100 new vehicles in January 2011 - a fall of 38 per cent compared to the same month last year when the Government's scrappage scheme was in full swing - with its retail-only sales soaring by almost 70 per cent.
As the overall new car market fell by more than 11 per cent compared to 2010, total industry sales were buoyed by strong fleet business that masked the comparison to last year.
Retail customers in Kia dealerships were not put off by the increase in VAT and Michael Cole, Managing Director said: "There had been a general expectation that retail customers might be dissuaded from buying new cars because of the increase in VAT - but that didn't seem to be a factor for us and our dealers. There wasn't a big rush in December to beat the VAT increase and we didn't see a fall-off in demand in January.
"Quite the reverse - we saw our retail non-scrappage sales increase from 886 in January 2010 to 1,505 this January - a remarkable volume given the continuing uncertainty in the economy. And whilst our overall volume has fallen compared to last year we have still recorded an excellent 2.4 per cent share of the total market, up from 1.9 per cent last January - when you take out the scrappage effect," he added.
With three all-new vehicle ranges - Kia Picanto, Rio and Optima - due to be launched by Kia in 2011 the company expects to hold on to or even beat its 2010 total volume despite predictions that the overall market will fall.
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