Kia Motors has achieved annual sales of more than half a million cars in Europe for the first time, according to new data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).
Kia’s total annual sales of 502,845 units in Europe* represents a sales increase of +1.7 per cent, and the brand’s 11th consecutive year of growth. Last year the brand also achieved an all-time-high 3.2 per cent market share across European Union and European Free Trade Area countries.
The growth in sales has been boosted by increased customer interest in Kia’s expanding range of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as sales success from the recent introduction of new and renewed models, such as the Ceed and Stonic.
Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, comments: “2019 marked an important year for Kia as we introduced our first new-generation electric vehicles and launched new derivatives and powertrains across some of our most popular model lines. As an early mover in the industry’s shift to electrification, Kia is capitalising on consumers’ desire to reduce the environmental impact and running costs associated with driving.
“Our customers tell us they are receptive to the idea of ‘going electric’, and our evolving product and brand strategy means we are able to offer electrified cars that don’t sacrifice quality, design or character,” adds Herrera.
“Looking ahead to 2020, changes to our global production and supply lines will enable us to address bottlenecks in electric vehicle supply. Last year, Kia sold almost double the number of electric vehicles compared to 2018, and we’re confident that growing supply will help us meet burgeoning demand,” he concludes.
Significant spike in sales of electrified cars
Increasing customer interest in advanced powertrains brought added momentum to Kia’s success last year. Sales of the brand’s hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully-electric cars increased from 58,029 to 66,386 units (+14.4 per cent) in 2019.
The Niro range, incorporating hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully-electric variants, remained the brand’s best-selling electrified model line, with sales totalling 57,519 units (+27.1 per cent compared to 2018). The Niro Hybrid accounted for 37,475 units (+8.2 per cent), with additional growth from the Niro Plug-in Hybrid (10,144 units, +1.9 per cent) and the new fully-electric e-Niro (9,900 units).
With the new fully-electric Soul EV also on sale in selected markets towards the end of the year, total sales of Kia electric vehicles almost doubled, from 7,064 in 2018 to 13,132 units in 2019 (+85.9 per cent). The Optima Plug-in Hybrid range, available in saloon and Sportswagon variants, also saw sales improvement, with 5,635 units sold last year (+23.2 per cent).
A new number-one bestseller for Kia: the Ceed model family
2019 saw the Ceed model family become Kia’s bestselling product across the EU and EFTA, with registrations totalling 110,201 units – a year-on-year upturn of 46.0 per cent. The brand’s previous best-seller, the Kia Sportage, was a close second, recording strong sales of 109,838 units through the year.
Mounting interest in the reinvigorated Ceed model family follows the successful introduction of the ProCeed five-door shooting brake and XCeed urban crossover last year, although all four derivatives saw sales growth in 2019. The Ceed five-door hatchback and Ceed Sportswagon accounted for sales of 45,917 (+12.7 per cent) and 34,041 (+22.0 per cent) units, respectively. 19,644 ProCeed models were sold since sales began in Q1 2019 – more than 11 times the total 2018 sales of its predecessor, the three-door pro_cee’d. The XCeed also went on sale in the last quarter of 2019, with 10,599 units sold in the final three months of the year.
The Picanto city car reprised its position as the brand’s third bestseller in Europe, with sales of 75,187 units remaining level with the previous year’s sales (75,315 units). Growing interest in the Stonic B-SUV resulted in a +19.8 per cent sales improvement in 2019, with 66,749 units sold (up from 55,742).
New European markets for Kia’s regional headquarters
Kia’s regional European headquarters, based in Frankfurt Germany, recently took on responsibility for several new markets across Europe and the Caucasus, in addition to EU and EFTA countries. The company’s European headquarters now covers 39 markets in total, with new responsibility for Turkey, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova and Albania. In 2019, sales of Kia models across all 39 markets grew +1.8 per cent, from 510,650 to 519,789 units.
UK sales performance in Europe
In the UK, Kia hit another record sales figure in 2019 with a total of 97,323 cars sold accounting for 19 per cent of European sales.
The UK accounted for the below percentages** of European sales for the following models:
Sportage – 31 per cent
Ceed family – 11 per cent
Niro family – 14 per cent
Stonic – 12 per cent
Picanto – 23 per cent
*Source: ACEA, EU and EFTA countries
** Approximate figures