Kia is celebrating two important sales milestones having had a record sales performance for the month of May and for passing half a million registrations since the brand came to the United Kingdom in 1991.
In May, 5,604 Kias were registered – an 8.27 per cent increase on the previous best-ever May in 2012. Total sales for 2013 to date now stand at 30,441 vehicles – a record for the first five months of the year and some 10.6 per cent up from the same time last year. Kia’s year-to-date market share stands at 3.21 per cent.
Paul Philpott, President and CEO, Kia Motors (UK) Limited commented: “Reaching 500,000 cars in the UK is another important milestone for the Kia brand. Our growth over the last few years has been down to a combination of great new products, changing perceptions of the brand and is testament to the efforts of our growing UK dealer network.
“We predict that we will achieve one million registrations in the UK before the end of the decade and our long-term ambition is to become a ‘Top 5’ volume car brand in the UK. Considering that our year-to-date sales equal our entire annual performance from just five years ago I am confident we will get there” added Philpott.
The 500,000th Kia sold in the UK was acee’d ‘4’ 1.6 CRDi hatchback purchased by Dale and Amy Pollard, a married couple from Leicester, from Kia’s Sandicliffe Leicester dealership. The handover ceremony for the new ‘13’ plate cee’d was held on the 28 May at the dealership and was attended by Stuart Wardle, Regional Business Manager, Kia Motors (UK) and John Marsh, Business Manager, Sandicliffe.
Dale and Amy, expecting their first child in July, considered safety, luxury, space and price when choosing their new cee’d. Commenting on their choice, Dale said: “It was important for me to have the same class, features and luxury that I was used to on my previous car, a Volkswagen Golf. At another manufacturer you could buy a similar car to a cee’d but you’d have to add on £10,000 to get the same equipment which Kia provides as standard.”
Dale added: “The test drive blew me away – we instantly decided it was the car for us. I was taken aback that it looked as good on the inside as the outside. My wife is heavily pregnant so safety and space were key, hence why we have gone for the 5-door. The warranty is fantastic and will provide that financial peace of mind which is a relief with a baby on the way. The car really does have everything we need.”
In May 2012, Sandicliffe Leicester became one of the first Kia dealerships in the UK to have the all-new Kia ‘Red Cube’ design as part of a major overhaul of the premises. Nigel Falkiner, Sandicliffe Leicester’s Head of Marketing said: “We are absolutely delighted that Kia’s 500,000th customer purchased their new car from us here at Sandicliffe. To help Dale and Amy enjoy their car and reduce the cost of motoring further, we have offered them Kia’s Care-3 Service Plan with our compliments.”
To celebrate the occasion, and alongside the complimentary Care-3 Service Plan from Sandicliffe, Kia Motors (UK) Limited presented the couple with a bottle of Champagne, a bunch of flowers, a £150 mothercare voucher and a certificate recognising the milestone sale.
The first Kia launched in the UK was the Pride in 1991 – Kia’s original A-segment car and predecessor to the current Picanto. 1,786 Kia vehicles were registered that year. The 100,000 registration landmark was reached just three years later, in 1994, with the sale of a Rio hatchback and a Sportage crossover was the brand’s 250,000th vehicle sale in 2008. The top three best-selling Kias in the UK so far in 2013 are the Sportage, Picanto and cee’d respectively.