- 1,375,738 Kia vehicles sold in 2008
- Sales in China, general markets and Korea post cumulative 2008 year-on-year sales growth of 34.2%, 30.5% and 16.2%, respectively
- C-segment Cerato is Kia top seller overseas for third consecutive year
(SEOUL) January 15, 2009 -- Kia Motors Corporation announced today that cumulatively its global sales (export sales, domestic sales and sales from overseas plants) of passenger cars, recreation vehicles (RVs) and light trucks in 2008 recorded 1,375,738, representing an 8.4% year-on-year increase.
In 2008, China (151,085 units sold) and general markets (262,166 units sold) have experienced the largest year-on-year gains of 34.2%, and 30.5%, respectively. Cumulative sales increases were also experienced in Korea (a 16.2% gain from 316,432 units sold), while Europe (a 2.3% decrease from 335,138 units sold) and North America have experienced decreases (8.6% decrease from 310,917 units sold).
In December, China returned a significant year-on-year increase, selling 16,909 units (a 36.2% year-on-year increase). General markets and Korea also experienced gains selling 22,381 (a 15.3% increase) and 27,507 (a 10% increase) units, respectively while Europe and North America sold 19,966 (a 33.6% decrease) and 16,286 (a 37.2% decrease) units, respectively. During this month, Kia sold 103,049 units globally marking an 8.7% year-on-year decrease.
Hyoung-Keun Lee, Senior Executive Vice President and COO of the International Business Division said, "While North America and Europe experienced some year-on-year loss from a slowdown of sales in the last quarter, Kia has experienced market share increases in many markets across these two territories. Furthermore, we have experienced significant gains across China, general markets and in Korea. Despite trying economic conditions, we are confident that we are well positioned, relative to other auto makers, to continue to gain market share by satisfying the demand for fuel-efficient and compact vehicles."
In 2008, Kia's best-selling model in overseas markets, for the third consecutive year, is the C-segment Cerato (known as 'Spectra' in some markets) with 192,149 units sold, followed by the B-Segment Rio with 153,963 units. Kia's Sportage compact SUV and the C-segment cee'd compete closely for third place with 149,293 and 148,846 units sold, respectively, and the A-segment Picanto takes fifth place with 91,262 units sold.
In 2008, passenger car sales made up 63% of all Kia vehicles sold, marking an 11.7% year-on-year increase.
Lee continued, "Kia Motors Corporation continues to prudently monitor and manage its business in the face of the current global economic climate, which is affecting demand for automotive vehicles in many markets around the world. The company's new product pipeline remains strong with the launch of the all-new Soul urban crossover passenger car and next generation Cerato (to be known as 'Forte' in some markets) in many markets in early 2009, as well as the upgraded Kia cee'd and all new B-segment MPV scheduled to go on sale in the European market during late 2009."
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.com) -- a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart -- was founded in 1944 and is Korea's oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world's premier automotive brands. More than 1.4 million vehicles a year are produced in 13 manufacturing and assembly operations in nine countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 172 countries. Kia today has over 40,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of almost US$17 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and official automotive partner of FIFA -- the governing body of the FIFA World Cup -- as well as a EUROTOP partner of UEFA. Kia Motors Corporation's brand slogan -- "The Power to Surprise" -- represents the company's global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.