Kia aiming to overtake rivals with new model offensive

Kia is reportedly aiming to sell 100,000 cars a year in the UK by 2020, putting it in direct competition with large rivals like Citroen and Hyundai.

Following on from an increase in sales and critical successes last year, the Korean manufacturer is poised to launch a slew of new models to keep up the momentum and catapult it into the big leagues.

Last year, Kia sold 77,525 cars in the UK in total, and Kia UK CEO Paul Philpott anticipates that sales will climb to around 80,000 by the end of the year, approximately the same as Citroen and Hyundai.

New and updated model range

The key to achieving this growth will be the new model range, which includes the new Sorento which is due to land in dealerships next month, plus a range of upgrades for the Venga and Rio ranges.

Mr Philpott said: “This year we launch our all-new Sorento in April, we have major enhancements to our core Picanto and Rio ranges plus an update of Venga.

“Later in the year, we will see exciting developments in the Cee’d range and an all-new Optima.”

The all-new Optima has already been previewed in Kia’s impressive Sportspace concept, which was first unveiled last month and which made its official public debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

A sporty estate concept, with a bold and visually dramatic appearance, long wheelbase and a slick, raked back roof, it’s expected that the Sportspace will enter production as the first-ever Optima estate.

Alongside the estate version, it’s expected that a regular saloon version of the Optima will also go on sale, while other concepts from Kia, like the Soul-based Trail’ster, could also go into production.

Having previously marketed itself as somewhat cheap and cheerful, Kia has put a lot of effort in recent years into revitalising and rebranding itself, widening its appeal to more drivers.

Increased focus on sportiness

The introduction of Peter Schreyer-designed ‘tiger nose’ grille design to give Kia a solid visual identity was the first step, followed by a broadening of its model ranges to cater to buyers’ demands.

Putting an increased focus on sports styling, Kia recently introduced the new GT Line trim for its Cee’d hatchback, and it’s expected that it will also be rolled out to the Picanto, Rio and Soul in the next year.

It’s also no secret that Kia has a desire to produce a compact, lightweight two-seater sports car, as hinted by the dynamic GT4 Stinger concepts, which reportedly could go on sale next year.

In the meantime, Kia’s current model range is available to buy from Perrys now. For more information, check out our website or get in touch with your local Perrys dealership today.