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Kia UK tops 2020 European sales

Kia UK tops 2020 European sales

Kia achieved its highest ever share of the European car market in 2020, and one of its highest-ever annual increases. According to new data released today by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), Kia’s European market share increased from 3.2 per cent to 3.5 per cent during the course of the year.

Kia’s total annual sales in Europe dropped by 17 per cent to 416,715 units, due to the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the brand has been impacted less than the wider European market, which declined by 24.3 per cent year-on-year. Kia’s market share therefore grew to an all-time high of 3.5 per cent.

In the UK, sales reached 70,537 units for the full year, representing 17 per cent of Kia’s European sales and positions the UK market as the best performing in the region. Whilst UK sales were down year-on-year, Kia’s market share hit a new record of 4.3 per cent, placing the brand ninth overall. This was helped by a record Q3 for Kia in the UK, selling 28,185 vehicles to customers, up five per cent year-on-year.

The latest sales results also highlight the growing importance of Kia’s range of electrified vehicles in Europe. Hybrid and electric powertrains continue to represent a major growth area for Kia, despite the market slowdown, with electrified powertrains accounting for 25.5 per cent of all Kia sales in Europe in 2020 – more than one in four models sold by the brand.

Kia’s performance in the UK follows the trend seen in the wider region with 29 per cent of all sales in 2020 being eco cars, in line with the ‘three in ten’ target set by Kia at the start of the year.

The Niro range, including self-charging hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric variants, remained the brand’s best-selling electrified model line. It also became the brand’s second best-selling model line in Europe, with sales totalling 77,498 units (+34.7 per cent compared to 2019). The Niro Hybrid accounted for 32,384 units, with significant additional growth from the Niro Plug-in Hybrid (14,082 units, +38.8 per cent) and the fully-electric e-Niro (31,032 units, +213.5 per cent).

This sales trend was also seen in the UK, with the Niro range becoming the second best performing ‘eco car’ in the market with 18,530 total sales. Similarly the Niro self-charging hybrid (9,926 sales), plug-in hybrid (2,064 sales) and all-electric e-Niro (6,540 sales) all took high ranking top ten positions in their separate powertrain league tables.

Commenting on Kia’s European performance, Won-Jeong (Jason) Jeong, President for Kia Europe, said: “2020 was one of the toughest years we have ever seen, both for Kia and the industry as a whole. With the effects of the pandemic causing a sudden stop in sales early in the year, our European markets responded with a range of measures to help our customers, and to deliver and maintain their cars in a safe and sanitised way. We actually saw our best-ever sales performance in the third quarter of the year, thanks to a combination of pent-up demand and the increasing popularity of our electrified vehicles.”

Reflecting on Kia’s sales results in the UK, Paul Philpott, President and CEO of Kia Motors UK commented: “2020 was one of the most challenging and unpredictable years for Kia UK. With the necessary government restrictions in place, we worked closely with our dealer partners to ensure we kept everyone as safe as possible whilst delivering the best possible results. The increased demand for eco vehicles was met by our increasing range of electrified cars, which together with the rest of our customer-centric range of vehicles, quarterly customer offers and peace of mind services delivered the tools our dealer network required to serve our customers in a difficult year.

“Looking forward, we are as committed as ever in supporting our dealer network to get back on track and continue our journey launching seven new EVs between now and 2027. After announcing our new logo and brand purpose earlier this month, we look forward to a positive year ahead for Kia UK.”

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