Kia Motors Corporation recorded a total 1,007,876 sales in 2002, the first time that annual sales have exceeded the one million mark in the company’s 58-year history. The performance for 2002 exceeded the previous year by 1.7%, in line with expectations.

"2002 was a very difficult year for the auto industry as a whole," said Kia Motors President Noi-myung Kim. "The fact that Kia came through not only unscathed but recording its fourth successive year of profitable growth is testament to the competitiveness of the vehicles we produce."

The award winning Sedona/Carnival replaced the Rio as Kia’s biggest global seller, though the Rio retained its number one position in the export market. The Carnival sold 64,321 models in the Korean market and 91,106 overseas for a total of 155,427. The Rio sold 19,837 in Korea but recorded 101,191 export sales to surpass its larger cousin.

The United States remains Kia’s largest export market, recording 237,345 sales in 2002. The UK is the seventh largest market for Kia worldwide.

European sales for Kia Motors rose 9.2% in 2002 achieving a third record sales year in a market that fell by 2.8%. Between September and December 2002, sales increased by 30% due to the introduction of the New Rio, New Magentis, New Carens and Sorento.

Kia plans to continue its upward trend into 2003 and beyond, says Mr Kim. "We are looking for significant growth this year, particularly in Europe and China," he says. "Kia has only begun to explore its potential globally and we are going to surprise a lot of people over the next few years."

The plan is to increase sales across Europe by 20% in 2003.

Kia Motors (UK) Limited achieved a fourth record sales year in a row with a total of 12,351 cars. The best seller in the UK is the Rio (40%) followed by Sedona (30%). Sedona was the UK’s best selling large MPV in the private retail market in the latest new registration month (September 2002).

With four new product launches in four months, New Carens (November 2002), New Rio & New Magentis (January 2003) and Sorento (February 2003), the UK plans to achieve a significant increase in sales in 2003.

All Kias benefit from a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty, six-year anti-perforation warranty and three-years’ European roadside assistance for peace of mind when abroad.

Published : 20/01/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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