Kia expects model renewals will help it achieve European sales targets

Article by Christian A., on May 8, 2012

Kia is certain that new products will assist it to meet its ambitious sales goal in the European region despite the area's economic troubles. The company's model renewal started with the new Sportage SUV in 2010. It will be completed by a new set of minivan units ready for sale in 2013, Kia Europe's Chief Operating Officer Paul Philpott told Automotive News Europe.

 A five-seat and seven-seat compact minivan will be launched and will replace the Carnival and Carens, Philpott stated without providing details of the model. The company is aiming to increase sales by 20.7% in its 25 markets in Europe to 350,000 units in 2012, after a 10.7% increase last year, with its market share widening to 2.7%, up from 2.2% in 2011. 

Philpott stated that Kia Europe is targeting annual sales of 400,000 units by 2013, which is equal to 3.1% market share. A key launch for Kia in the European region this year is the Cee'd compact lineup. The new Cee'd five-door variant will be available in showrooms this month, followed in September by a wagon variant which was launched at the Geneva Auto Show in March. 

Kia will reveal the sporty Procee'd three-door unit at the Paris show in September that completes Kia product lineup in the second biggest segment in Europe in terms of volume, Philpott stated. In 2011, compact vehicle sales in the European region were flat at 3.04 million units.

Sales of the Cee'd, which is the automaker's best-seller in Europe, dropped by 21.6 percent to 73,716 units, according to the data from JATO Dynamics market researchers. Philpott stated that the rapid transformation of the automaker's product lineup as well as the seven-year warranty which Kia offers to new customers will continue to drive growth.

The cee'd is a compact car produced by the South Korean manufacturer Kia, exclusively for the European market. Both more elongated and lower than its predecessor, this five-door hatchback had a sportier silhouette. Overall length is augmented by 50 mm (to 4,310 mm) and overall height has been condensed by 10 mm (to 1,470 mm) by lowering the ride height.

Although being based on a completely new platform, new cee'd carries over the 2,650 mm wheelbase, one of the longest in the C-segment.

The broader track of this unit further generated a more athletic presence. Though the overall bodyshell is 10 mm narrower, the front and rear track have been expanded (by 17 mm and 32 mm, respectively). Aesthetics is intensified by the availability of 17- and 18-inch diameter alloy wheels, resulting in a negligible gap between tires and bodywork.

The new model's sleek silhouette was created by comprehensive testing in the wind tunnel at Kia's R&D centre at Namyang, Korea. With reduced windscreen angle, smooth covers beneath the engine bay and the central floor, a rear spoiler above the tailgate and carefully profiled rear lamp clusters all help the new cee'd achieve a Cd figure of 0.30, putting it among the best in its segment.

At the same time, it helps cut fuel consumption and lessen cabin noise. Produced exclusively in Slovakia, the new cee’d will be available in 10 exterior colors – including five new ones. It will be among the first models to have the new-look Kia badge on its bonnet. The new badge design is simpler, sleeker, and more updated, in line with the more luxurious feel of the new cee’d.

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Topics: kia, europe, sales

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