- Sponsorship of Australia’s biggest tennis event lays foundation for major initiatives in 2005
(SEOUL) January 17, 2005 -- Kia Motors, which last year celebrated its 60th anniversary, is gearing up for another stellar year in the Australian market, starting with its role as the major sponsor of the 2005 Australian Open, which is celebrating its centennial this year.
With four new vehicles scheduled to land in Australian showrooms in 2005, Kia looks to retain its standing as the country’s fastest growing automotive nameplate of the 58 brands in the local market.
Yong-Hwan Kim, Senior Executive Vice President and COO, Kia Motors, said: “Kia became one of the top ten best selling brands in Australia in 2004 and cemented its place with a top ten performance every month last year. With the introduction of exciting new models this year we fully expect to retain the title of the fastest growing brand in Australia in 2005.”
Along with the exciting new Sportage compact 4WD, which will go on sale in Australia in the beginning of the year, the successor to the popular sedan and hatch back B-segment Rio, which currently is the third best-seller in its class in Australia and was recognized as the country’s lowest cost new car to own in 2004, will arrive in showrooms in mid-2005. A new extended version of the Carnival people mover, which in 2004 claimed the title of the number one selling vehicle in its class, is scheduled to hit Australian roads in the southern spring.
To cap off its new line-up additions for the year, Kia plans to introduce the completely new successor to the C-class Optima sedan at the end of 2005.
The Australian market set a new sales record in excess of 950,000 vehicles in 2004, and to ensure its continued strong growth in the market Kia Motors is strengthening its sales and service network and continuing its sponsorship of the Australian Open grand slam tennis tournament. Kia cars are currently sold and serviced in Australia through a network of 118 dealers.
Kia exceeded 760,000 total exports in 2004 for a year on year gain of around 44% and is well on track toward surpassing the five million unit cumulative worldwide export mark this spring. It expects to achieve annual global export sales of one million units and US$10 billion in export sales revenue in 2005.
Founded in 1944 and now celebrating its 60th anniversary, Kia Motors Corporation (www.kiamotors.com) is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of automobiles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia is among the world’s fastest growing automobile companies and aims to be a premier global automaker. 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. Kia today has 30,000 employees and annual revenues of $12 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and an official worldwide sponsor of the Davis Cup.