The Korea Herald


Kia’s market share exceeds 30%

By 최희석

Published : Jan. 4, 2011 - 18:26

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Kia Motors Corp.’s domestic market share exceeded 30 percent in 2010 for the first time in 15 years.

According to industry data, Kia’s domestic sales in 2010 increased by 17.4 percent from the previous year to come in at about 485,000 vehicles, and pushing up the carmaker’s market share by 3.6 percentage points to 33.2 percent.

While Kia held more than a 30 percent market share in the early 1990s, figures began to fall in 1995 reaching 22.3 percent in 2007.
The updated version of the Kia Morning that will be launched later this month. (Kia Motors Corp) The updated version of the Kia Morning that will be launched later this month. (Kia Motors Corp)

However, with new vehicles designed after the post of chief design officer was created and filled by Peter Schreyer, in 2006, began to hit the market, Kia’s market share began to rise.

Following the launch of such vehicles, including the Forte and Soul, Kia’s domestic market share jumped to 27.4 percent in 2008, and then to 29.6 percent in 2009. Kia’s rise over the period was also aided by the inclusion of the Morning into the city car segment ― vehicles with smaller than 1-liter engine displacement ― in 2008, resulting in the vehicle’s sales rising rapidly.

Although the figure fell short of the company’s target of 35 percent, last year is the first time since 1995 that Kia’s market share rose above 30 percent, and a significant narrowing of gap with the country’s largest carmaker Hyundai Motor Co.

With Hyundai’s market share falling from the 50.4 percent recorded in 2009 to 45.2 percent last year, the gap between the two affiliated carmakers narrowed to 12 percentage points.

With the exception of 2000, when Kia was incorporated into Hyundai Motor Group, Hyundai had maintained more than a 20 percentage point lead over its smaller affiliate until last year.

By Choi He-suk (