Frankfurt, 14 July 2017 – Kia Motors has recorded its best-ever six-month sales period, with European* half-year sales surpassing 250,000 for the first time in the company’s history.
The latest data released today by ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association) shows that Kia sold 251,472 units across Europe during the first six months of the year, a 9.5% rise, year-on-year. In addition, Kia’s cumulative market share climbed to 3.0%, up from 2.8% (229,585 units) during the first half of 2016.
The second quarter of 2017 also represents Kia’s best-ever quarterly sales, with 126,485 units sold (+6.3% compared to Q2 2016, with 118,985 units sold). This is the second time Kia has broken its quarterly sales record this year – between January and March 2017, Kia sold 124,987 units across Europe.
Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, commented: “Our growth has been boosted by new models launched in the last few months, and our growing range of vehicles with electrified powertrains. Alternatively-fuelled vehicles have accounted for 7.5% of our European sales so far this year, up from just 1% in the first six months of 2016. This trend will continue as we expand our electric and hybrid model line-up, and as consumer demand continues to shift towards advanced powertrains.”
Cole added: “Four Kia models in particular stand out for high sales growth so far this year. The new Rio and Picanto were introduced earlier in 2017, and are both outselling their predecessors. The Niro hybrid crossover proves appeal of a car that uniquely combines an advanced hybrid powertrain with a smart compact crossover design. Sales of the renewed Optima range, with new GT, Sportswagon and Plug-in Hybrid variants, have also been positive, more than doubling sales of the previous model.”
Seven-fold increase in sales of electrified Kia models
Vehicles with all-electric or electrified powertrains represent the greatest area of growth for Kia sales in Europe. Since the start of 2017, the new Kia Niro hybrid crossover has accounted for 16,002 unit sales, making it Kia’s fifth best-selling European vehicle (after the Picanto, Rio, Sportage and cee’d model family).
In total, electrified and all-electric Kia vehicles accounted for 18,804 unit sales in the first half of 2017, up from 2,398 units from January-to-June in 2016 (more than a seven-fold increase in sales). The Niro was joined by the new Optima Plug-in Hybrid sedan (428 units) and Soul EV (2,272 units).
Hybrid and electric sales are due to grow further throughout the year, as the new Niro Plug-in Hybrid and Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid – with greater all-electric, zero-emissions range from their larger batteries – are due on sale over the summer. These latest models ensure Kia remains on target to achieve its global aim for 2020 – to improve fuel efficiency by 25% compared with 2014 levels.
Two new compact models – the all-new Rio and Picanto – were also launched at the start of the year, with each resulting in greater sales than their predecessors. Combining run-out sales of the old models and those of the new model, Rio sales have grown 15.1% year-on-year (41,139 units), while sales of the A-segment Picanto grew 23.2% year-on-year (to 34,880 units).
Optima sales have also seen an increase, with the creation of the new Sportswagon body style and new powertrain options, including a high-powered GT model, and Plug-in Hybrid variants. Optima sales so far this year stand at 8,371 units, a rise of 153.8% compared to the same period in 2016 when the previous generation was on sale.
* EU28 + EFTA countries
Kia Motors Europe has appointed a new president to coordinate the brand’s continued sales growth across the region. Based at Kia’s European headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, Mr. Yong Kew Park, will be responsible for overseeing the brand’s sales and business growth strategies across Europe. With a career spanning more than 30 years, Park brings extensive knowledge of the company and its products to the senior management role. Park joins Kia Motors Europe from Kia Motors Russia, where he had been President since the start of 2016.
Kia Motors has delivered a new Kia Stinger to Rafael Nadal, the world's number one tennis player and global ambassador for Kia. President of Kia Motors Iberia Yangseop Gihl, Managing Director Emilio Herrera, and Marketing and Communications Director Ricardo de Diego handed the car over to the tennis star at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Manacor, Majorca – Nadal’s home town. Emilio Herrera commented: “Nadal is the best ambassador a brand could dream of, and we have had the privilege of having grown together. Rafa represents consistency, effort, modesty and passion. These are values we have in common. We are honoured to hand him the keys to a new Stinger, the most surprising and thrilling of our models.”
A new report published by leading independent European economic consultancy, London Economics, has confirmed the considerable contribution made by Kia Motors Europe to the European economy. The new report, entitled The economic and societal benefits deriving from the presence of Kia in Europe, has established that 184,386 people owe their jobs to the presence of the brand in Europe, employed directly by Kia or indirectly through the supply chain and sales and distribution. Including customs duties, sales and income taxes, Kia contributed €1.2 billion in taxes to European governments during 2016, further supporting the region’s economies. This figure has increased by almost 39% over 2013, when Kia paid €865 million in European taxes.
Kia Motors remains on course for another European sales record in 2017, following the best third quarter sales performance in the company’s history. The latest data released by ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association) shows that Kia’s European* sales have risen to 364,924 units, year-to-date - representing an increase of 8.1% year-on-year. Kia’s cumulative share of the European market has also grown to 3.0%, up from 2.9% during the first nine months of 2016. From July to September, Kia sold 113,452 units across Europe, marking a new third quarter sales record for the brand (+5.0% over Q3 2016).