Frankfurt, 17 January 2018 – Kia Motors recorded the highest European sales in its history in 2017, with year-on-year sales growth of 8.5%. New data revealed by ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association) shows that Kia sold a record 472,125 new cars across Europe last year, up from 435,316 in 2016. Kia’s sales growth outpaced the wider European market, which grew 3.3% in 2017.
These results mean Kia has recorded a 3% share of the market for the full year, setting a new benchmark for the company. A range of new models contributed to this growth, including the Stinger fastback sport sedan, Stonic compact crossover, Rio compact hatchback and Picanto city car. The brand’s burgeoning range of hybrid and electric vehicles also proved a major factor in Kia’s sales success.
Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, said: “2017 represented a year of change for Kia in Europe, with a number of important all-new products launched. New generations of our popular compact cars, the Rio and Picanto, were joined by cars launched in segments where we have never had a presence. The Stonic is already becoming an important volume seller for Kia, while the Stinger impressed media and consumers alike with its looks and performance.
“Hybrids and electric cars are also becoming an increasingly important part of our product portfolio. Last year, we saw sales of our electrified models almost treble, boosted by the introduction of two new plug-in hybrid derivatives and the increasing success of the Niro hybrid crossover. As a result, almost one in 10 Kia vehicles sold in Europe is now a hybrid or electric vehicle. This is a trend that will accelerate in the coming years, with alternatively-powered vehicles contributing significantly to our target of half a million annual European sales in the medium term.”
Hybrid and electric vehicles sales almost treble in a year
2017 marked a record year for hybrid and electric vehicles sales for Kia Motors Europe. The first full calendar year of sales for the Niro saw the new hybrid crossover become Kia’s fifth bestselling car, with 30,986 models sold. In addition, Kia sold 2,888 examples of the new Niro Plug-in Hybrid. The Soul EV posted record sales of 5,718 units, representing a year-on-year increase of 28.5%. Meanwhile, the Optima model family grew to accommodate the new Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid, 2,382 units of which were sold in Europe last year.
At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Kia Motors announced its intention to offer customers a range of 16 electrified vehicles by 2020, including five hybrids, five plug-in hybrids, a new EV, and a new fuel-cell EV.
Sportage remains best-seller as Rio and Picanto sales grow
The Kia Sportage retained its position as the brand’s best-selling European model, with 131,783 units sold last year. The new Rio B-segment hatchback became Kia’s second best-seller following the introduction of a new model during the first quarter of 2017. Rio sales grew 6.0% year-on-year, from 68,580 to 72,688 units.
The European-built cee’d model family (comprising five-door hatchback, Sportswagon and three-door pro_cee’d) followed with 72,105 units sold. The new Picanto was also introduced in the first quarter of the year, with Kia posting record sales for its smallest model – sales grew 14.3% to 63,145 units.
New models in new segments
The launch of the Stonic and high-performance Stinger in the last quarter of 2018 also aided Kia’s full-year sales. After its dramatic unveiling in 2017, the Stinger – the fastest-accelerating and most powerful production Kia ever launched – recorded sales of 1,265 models in the closing months of the year. Kia also sold 11,747 units of the new Stonic during its first few months on sale in the fast-expanding B-SUV segment.