Kia Defies Crisis, Posts 8.4% Increase in 2008 Global Sales

The global economic crunch that hit most automakers in 2008 didn't have the same effect on Hyundai's affiliate Kia Motors, which recorded global sales of 1,375,738 passenger cars, recreation vehicles (RVs) and light trucks in 2008, representing an 8.4% year-on-year increase. In 2008, Kia's passenger car sales made up 63% of all vehicles sold, marking an impressive 11.7% increase compared to 2007.

Kia's best-selling model in overseas markets in 2008 was the C-segment Cerato, also known in some markets as 'Spectra', with 192,149 units sold. The Cerato was followed by the B-Segment Rio with 153,963 units while the Sportage SUV and the C-segment Cee'd came in third and fourth place with 149,293 and 148,846 units sold, respectively. Kia's Picanto city car took fifth place with 91,262 units sold.

In 2008, China with 151,085 units sold and general markets with 262,166 units sold, have experienced the largest year-on-year gains of 34.2%, and 30.5%, respectively. Cumulative sales increases were also experienced in Korea (a 16.2% gain from 316,432 units sold), while Europe (a 2.3% decrease from 335,138 units sold) and North America have experienced decreases (8.6% decrease from 310,917 units sold).