- Export shipments reach record 57,421 complete vehicles in October
- North American shipments exceed 30,000 for the first time
(SEOUL) 4 November 2003 - In 1975, Kia Motors became Korea’s first automobile exporter when the pick-up version of the company’s Brisa passenger car was exported to Greece and the Middle East. Less than thirty years later, the company has passed the four million mark for exports, with the shipment of 1,100 Sorento SUVs to the U.S. To date, Kia has exported 4,000,102 cars to 190 countries around the world.
The four million landmark was one of three records set by Kia Motors in October. Export shipments for the month reached 57,421 units, excluding knockdowns - the highest volume ever recorded. The top three exports for the month were the Rio, followed by the Carnival/Sedona MPV and the extraordinarily popular Sorento SUV.
Shipments to North America passed the 30,000 mark for the first time, with 30,358 cars boarding ships at Kia’s shipping terminal in Pyongtaek bound for the United States and Canada, Kia’s two largest export markets.
Kia Motors COO Yong-Hwan Kim said, “Kia Motors has a long tradition of innovation in the Korean automotive market. The company developed Korea’s first passenger car in 1974 and the first gasoline and diesel engines produced in the country. It is a great pleasure to see Kia continue to grow apace as we head into our sixtieth year of business.”
The company’s performance in October continues a very strong year. In the first three quarters of the year Kia has seen export shipments increase by 23.7% over 2002. The company is currently the fastest growing brand in Europe - where sales exceeded 100,000 units for the first time this year - and in Canada, a market the company only entered in 1999.
“The success of the Sorento is driving sales across the entire Kia line-up,” says Mr. Kim. “Customers around the world are looking again at the Kia brand, liking what they see and our sales are going up accordingly.”
With the new Opirus luxury sedan reaching showrooms in Europe this week and scheduled for sale in the United States in December, where it will be branded Amanti, Mr. Kim expects 2004 to be another record year for Kia.
“In addition to the Opirus/Amanti, we have five new vehicles scheduled for release next year,” he says. “The Picanto and the four and five door Cerato will significantly raise volumes in the important passenger car market. We are also beefing up our commercial offering with the new K-series truck and the Pregio light van.”
2004 will be Kia’s 60th anniversary and the thirtieth anniversary of its passenger car business, but the company has no intention of slowing down.
“The Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group aims to be one of the world’s top five automakers by 2010,” says Mr. Kim. “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but the improving product lineup and the increasing respect we are winning from our customers around the world makes the goal very achievable indeed.”
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com) is among the world's fastest growing automobile companies. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to be a top five global automaker by 2010. Kia's 15 manufacturing and assembly operations in 12 countries make more than a million vehicles a year that are sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 190 countries. Founded in 194, Kia is Korea's oldest manufacturer of automobiles. Kia today has 30,000 employees and annual revenues of $12 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and the international sponsor of the Davis Cup for the Euro/Africa zone.