January 19, 2021 – Kia achieved its highest ever share of the European market in 2020, and one of its highest-ever annual increases in market share. According to new data released today by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), Kia’s European market share increased from 3.2% to 3.5% during the course of the year.
Kia’s total annual sales in Europe* dropped by 17% to 416,715 units, due to the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic across Europe. However, the brand has been impacted less than the wider European market, which declined by 24.3% year-on-year. Kia’s market share has therefore grown to an all-time high of 3.5%.
The latest sales results also highlight the growing importance of Kia’s range of electrified vehicles to a changing European market. Hybrid and electric powertrains continue to represent a major growth area for Kia, despite the wider market slowdown, with electrified powertrains accounting for 25.5% of all Kia sales in Europe in 2020 – more than one in four models sold by the brand.
Won-Jeong (Jason) Jeong, President for Kia Europe, comments: “2020 was one of the toughest years we have ever seen, both for Kia and the industry as a whole. With the effects of the pandemic causing a sudden stop in sales early in the year, our European markets responded with a range of measures to help our customers, and to deliver and maintain their cars in a safe and sanitised way. We actually saw our best-ever sales performance in the third quarter of the year, thanks to a combination of pent-up demand and the increasing popularity of our electrified vehicles.”
“Throughout the pandemic we were able to continue launching new and upgraded vehicles, and continued to electrify more of our product line-up to meet growing consumer demand for advanced powertrains,” adds Jeong.
“The Kia that emerges in 2021 is a very different company. Our new brand, logo and ‘Movement that inspires’ slogan will influence our plans for the years ahead. They begin with the launch of an all-new Kia EV later this year, based on our e-GMP platform. This car will provide rapid charging, seamless acceleration, and a long-distance all-electric range. We are also working to introduce a range of new sustainable mobility services for our customers as we start our transition from a vehicle manufacturer into a mobility provider.”
60% increase in sales of electrified cars year-on-year
Increasing customer interest in advanced electrified powertrains added momentum to Kia’s success during 2020. Total sales of the brand’s hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully-electric cars increased from 66,386 to 106,466 units to (+60.4%) in 2020 (not including mild-hybrid models). Last year Kia sold more than 100,000 electrified vehicles for the first time – meaning one in every four Kia cars sold in Europe was electrified.
The Niro range, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully-electric variants, remained the brand’s best-selling electrified model line. It also became the brand’s second best-selling model line overall, with sales totalling 77,498 units (+34.7% compared to 2019). The Niro Hybrid accounted for 32,384 units, with significant additional growth from the Niro Plug-in Hybrid (14,082 units, +38.8%) and the fully-electric e-Niro (31,032 units, +213.5%).
The fully-electric e-Soul also continued its upward trajectory, with total sales of 7,999 units, representing an increase of +147.5% year-on-year. The introduction of plug-in hybrid versions of the Kia Ceed Sportswagon and XCeed also boosted electrified vehicle sales, accounting for 14,511 units combined last year.
Kia’s European number-one: the Ceed model family
Despite the effects of the pandemic, 2020 saw European sales of the Ceed model family grow 4.1% to 114,759 units (up from 110,201 units in 2019). Mounting interest in the reinvigorated Ceed model family follows the successful introduction of new plug-in hybrid variants of the Ceed Sportswagon and XCeed. The XCeed compact crossover went on sale at the end of 2019, and has already become the most popular Ceed body style, accounting for 43,880 sales in 2020. The Ceed five-door hatchback and Ceed Sportswagon accounted for sales of 25,809 and 30,116 units respectively, while the distinctive shooting brake ProCeed posted sales of 14,954 units.
The ever-popular Sportage SUV maintains its position as Kia’s third bestseller in Europe, with sales of 70,344 units. The Stonic B-SUV also saw sales of 51,322 units, with Picanto city car rounding out the top five with sales of 48,213 units.
A new brand signifies a transformation for Kia in 2021
Kia recently revealed a new logo and global brand slogan, representing the company’s ambitions to establish a leadership position in the future mobility industry by transforming all facets of its business.
Kia will launch seven dedicated battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2027 across several vehicle segments. Based on Hyundai Motor Group’s new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), these will each incorporate industry-leading technology for long-range driving and high-speed charging. The first of Kia’s next-generation dedicated BEVs will be revealed in the first quarter of 2021, embodying Kia’s shifting focus towards electrification. Based on the new E-GMP technology, this dedicated BEV will boast a crossover-inspired design, while offering an electric driving range of over 500 kilometres and a high-speed charging time of under 20 minutes. This will also be the first global model to bear Kia’s new logo.