Kia Motors has surpassed the 10,000-unit/month sales mark, setting a new company
monthly record for the U.S. market.
During the month of July, Americans bought 7,112 Sephias and 2,983 Sportages for a
total of 10,095 vehicles sold. In particular, strong Sephia sales of over 7,000 units are
a solid indication that the new Sephia is a winner with American car buyers.
This milestone is a sign that Kia is finally emerging as a major player in the world's
largest auto market. What makes this sales growth even more remarkable is that
Kia Motors is now the object of an international tender offer that will put the company
under new ownership before the end of the year.
There are currently some 10 automakers with sales of greater than 10,000 units a
month in the U.S. market. July marks the fourth month this year Kia has led Korea's
other major automakers--Hyundai and Daewoo--in U.S. sales. The trio of automakers
currently markets a total of six models in the U.S.
The 10,000-unit mark is also significant because it means Kia;s 1998 sales volume is
on track to surpass 100,000 units. Given the current Korean situation where exports
are stagnating, this growth in sales is an encouraging sign for the Korean auto industry.
Kia is optimistic that it can achieve sales of over 200,000 units annually in the U.S. by the