Picture Caption: Kia’s new Cerato four-door sedan makes its European Premiere at the Brussels Motor Show on January 13.
- Korean manufacturer records 48.4% increase in registrations
- ACEA data shows Kia as fastest growing brand in Europe
SEOUL 16 January 2003 ? According to data released by the Association des Constructeurs Europeens d’Automobiles (ACEA), Kia Motors recorded 107,631 new vehicle registrations in 2003, up 48.4% over the 72,529 recorded in 2002. This gives Kia the fastest rate of growth of all brands in the EU, a full 18 percentage points ahead of runner-up Mazda.
The numbers give Kia a 0.8% share of the EU market.
ACEA saw cumulative figures for EU registrations decline by 1.3% in 2003, though the figures point to an improving performance toward the end of the year.
Kia Motors, which launched the 4-door version of the new Cerato at the Brussels Motor Show this week, will introduce two new passenger vehicles to the European market in 2004. The two models ? the A-segment Picanto mini-car and the four and five door versions of the C-segment Cerato, are both volume models and are expected to contribute to another year of solid growth for Korea’s oldest and second largest car maker.
Kia Motors is aiming to increase vehicle sales in Western Europe to 300,000 by the end of 2005, a goal that calls for two consecutive years of 50% growth.
Kia Motors COO Kim Yong-Hwan explains, “Kia currently covers only about 35% of European market segmentation. While the success of the Sorento SUV and the Carens and Carnival MPVs are giving European customers a new appreciation of the great value offered by Kia, to increase market share we need to provide volume-building models that suit the tastes and expectations of the European customer. The Picanto and the Cerato will do just that. By 2005, Kia Motors will cover 85-90% of European market segmentation, making a 2% market share a very achievable goal.”
The Picanto, Kia’s first entry-level car in Europe, will reach showrooms early in the year, and provides customers with a stylish introduction to the Kia brand. With class leading interior space dimensions, the Picanto is expected to attract a new generation of young, active consumers to the brand.
The Cerato, which reaches the market in the spring, comes with a choice of two diesel engines ? the first time that Kia has offered a diesel option for its passenger cars ? reflecting the popularity of diesel cars in Europe. While the five-door hatchback version is expected to be the more popular in Europe, the four door will also do well in some markets. The five door version will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com), which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2004, 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 1944, 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.