Kia breaks UK sales record

KPMG asked 200 executives in the automotive industry which brands were expected to increase their market share in 2011, and nearly three-quarters believed Kia and partner Hyundai would grow.

This comes after new models featuring Kia’s new designs entered the market last year, including the new Sportage and Soul crossovers.

However, it was the Picanto hatchback which outsold the other models in the Kia range, racking up 16,451 sales in the UK in 2011.

The cee’d – fresh from being named Top Gear’s ‘Reasonably Priced Car’ – was second best seller, followed by the Kia Sportage, Venga and Sorento in the UK.

The success has expanded Kia’s share in the UK to 2.8 per cent, a testament to the new quality and desirability of cars from the Korean manufacturer since it focused on producing models for the European market.

Michael Cole, Managing Director of Kia Motors (UK), attributes the growth to better looking and better value cars, adding: "During 2011 we have another three all-new models due to arrive in showrooms – all benefiting from our new design-led DNA and that unmatchable warranty."

These include the Kia Optima saloon, which will compete with the likes of the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Insignia and Mazda6.

Other new models for 2011 include the new-look Picanto, which will be revealed in the metal at the North American International Auto Show this week.

Cole added: "Although we don’t expect quite the same rate of growth in the year ahead we are confident that Kia will continue to challenge the mainstream brands and I am certain that we will be looking at a new record total this time next year.”