The introduction of the Fiat 500-rivalling 2012 Kia Picanto and the Kia Rio, the brands challenge to the Ford Fiesta, has boosted sales by up to 23 per cent compared to 2011, says the Society of Motoring Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Remarkably, Kia now holds nearly 3.5 per cent of the UK car market as the car maker continues its rapid expansion.
The key to Kia’s success has been a revamp to the design of its small cars. Ex-Audi designer Peter Schreyer has added a premium feel to the exterior of the cars including Kia’s now distinctive ‘tiger face’ grille and headlamp combination.
This has been used for both the three-door Picanto and the larger Kia Rio hatchback to give them a more assertive, instead of the more traditional ‘cute’, design.
Kia has also made strikes into the UK market thanks to its excellent seven-year warranty, which is valid for up to 100,000 miles and can be transferred to a second owner.
A redesign for the interior of both cars, along with a simple trim level structure named 1, 2, 3 and 4, has enticed UK buyers looking for value for money and reliability in a new car.
The new Kia Picanto starts from just £8,000 in the UK and new 2012 Kia Rio prices start from under £10,000 – the same as the likes of the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa.
Meanwhile, Kia Managing Director Michael Cole praised dealerships such as Perrys for the July sales results.
He said: “We have had a fantastic year with some remarkable new product coming to our showrooms and our dealers have made the most of the opportunity to increase their profiles with both existing and new customers and to deliver an excellent sales result in July.”
The new Kia Picanto and new Kia Rio are on sale now from Perrys Kia dealerships.