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Kia Motors posts record monthly sales in China

HONG KONG (Yonhap News) ― Kia Motors Corp., Korea’s second-largest automaker, posted record-high monthly sales in China last month, backed by strong demand for its sport utility vehicle, company officials said on Sunday.

In January, Kia Motors sold 38,858 units of vehicles in the world’s most populous country, up 22.7 percent from a month earlier and also 13.7 percent from the same period last year, officials at the company’s China subsidiary said.

The automaker attributed the sales growth to the improving performance of its sport utility vehicle, the Sorento R.

Meanwhile, Kia’s bigger affiliate Hyundai Motor Co. sold 72,319 units in China last month, up 15.1 percent compared to the same month in 2010.

The figure also marks a 10.7 percent increase from the previous month and the second-largest monthly sales in China by Korea’s No. 1 carmaker, following September 2010 when it sold 73,122 units.

Hyundai Motor Group, consisting of Hyundai, Kia and other affiliates, including Korea’s largest auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis Co., has become the second-largest car seller in China with a 9 percent market share, trailing only Germany-based Volkswagen Group.

The two Korean carmakers sold a combined total of 1.1 million vehicles in China last year, according to the group. 

(Yonhap News)