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Kia global sales to top 30 million mark in May, 52 years after launch of first vehicle

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Published : 2014-05-19 09:47
Updated : 2014-05-19 10:41

Kia Motors Corp., South Korea's No. 2 automaker, said Monday that its global sales will top the 30 million mark this month, 52 years after it launched its first vehicle.

The carmaker, now under the wing of Hyundai Motor Group since 2000, said as of late April, accumulated sales stood at just under 29.93 million units.   

"Since Kia has sold an average 260,000 vehicles per month in 2014, it is almost certain that the 30 million figure will be reached," the company said in a press release.

The carmaker rolled out its K-360 three-wheeled light cargo truck from its Sohari plant just south of Seoul in 1962. It had sold a total of 10 million units as of 2003 and reached the 20 million milestone in 2010.

The company said Kia's growth took off after it joined Hyundai Motor, with annual sales exceeding 1 million for the first time in 2004. Last year, the carmaker sold more than 2.82 million vehicles.

From 2000 through late April, the carmaker's sales exceeded 22.59 million cars, or three-fourths of the total cars sold throughout its corporate history.

Of the cars in its lineup, Kia said the subcompact Pride that was first released in 1987 sold 3.46 million units, making it the best-selling car. This is followed by the Sportage SUV and the slightly larger Sorento SUV, launched in 1993 and 2002, respectively.

Besides sheer volume, Kia said its overseas sales have soared, accounting for 84 percent of all cars sold last year. The company reported that its first overseas sales were in 1975 when it shipped 10 vehicles.

The average price of cars sold abroad jumped from US$1,400 in the beginning to $13,800 in 2013. The carmaker has set up 18 foreign corporate entities capable of making 1.44 million cars annually. At present, it sells cars in roughly 170 countries worldwide.

Kia said that according to Interbrand, a global branding consultancy, the company made the top 100 most recognized brands list in 2012 and its brand value shot up 15 percent to $4.78 billion. (Yonhap)

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