Kia has set a new record for March sales in the UK with the 7,000 unit barrier broken for the first time in the company’s history.

Although final official figures are yet to be confirmed by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Kia Motors UK saw from its own internal monitoring that a new record of more than 7,300 units had been set for the month.

The sales success continues Kia’s dramatic rise in the UK sales charts - a 57.8 per cent increase in 2004 compared to a market decline of 0.5 per cent. The record figure eclipses not just last March’s figure - a record in itself of over 5,000 units - but also September of 2004 when 6,209 vehicles were sold.

Overhauling established brands

Kia remains the fastest growing volume brand in the UK new car market and it is overhauling many established brands in the UK market including companies such as Fiat, Mitsubishi, Seat and Skoda.

Similar records were also being set for Kia throughout Europe and around the world. Kia Motors Corporation announced that total overseas retail sales reached 73,788 units, representing a 36.7% year-on-year increase and setting a new record for Kia’s overseas monthly sales.

Throughout Europe total sales for March reached an all-time high of 26,532 units, an 86% increase on the same period in 2004.

Since Kia Motor Company took over the UK business and established Kia Motors UK Ltd as a wholly owned subsidiary in August 2002 the brand has enjoyed unparalleled success climbing from around 12,000 that year to more than 33,000 in 2004. The target for 2005 is 45,000 units and with the first quarter total passing 11,000 units that ambition is on target.

Paul Williams, Managing Director, said: "This is a phenomenal performance for Kia in March - it is our best month ever and maintains the progress we have made during our short history in the UK as a subsidiary.

"The UK is currently the leading market for Kia in Europe and we want to keep things that way - especially as Europe has become a significant export destination for Kia and the company is building its first non-Asian assembly operation in Zilina, Slovakia, that will start production by the end of next year.

"The success is based on our full range offering and although Picanto is doing great things, the retail market’s demand for Rio, Cerato, new Sportage Sorento and Sedona means both the Kia brand and its dealers are seeing sustained organic growth," he added.

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Published : 04/04/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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