Kia Sales Data & Trends for the European Automotive Market
Kia European sales and market share have gone the opposite direction of most of its European mainstream competitors like Ford, Opel, Fiat and Citroën, rising steadily from 2008 through 2017. But like its sister brand Hyundai, Kia’s market share stabilized in 2014 as the overall market grew faster than the South Korean brands. After adding more than a full percentage point of market share between 2009 and 2013 thanks to Peter Schreyer’s design, the fast growth stabilized in 2013 and 2014, before picking up again in 2015 and the following years.
The German designer has helped Kia in changing its design from bland and uninspiring to modern looking and distinctive, which has fueled the increase of sales for the brand. Sales peaked at a record 459.000 units in 2017, and market share also peaked that year at nearly 3%.
The Sportage crossover has been the brand’s best selling car ahead of the compact hatchback and station wagon Cee’d for years, although the Rio subcompact car came in second place in 2017. The Sportage passed the 100.000 annual sales mark in 2015 and the new generation from 2016 improved further on that score. Sales of the midsized MPV Carens surged more than tenfold in 2013 thanks to the introduction of the Peter Schreyer designed new generation, and another 50% in 2014, after which it stayed surprisingly stable, proving that Kia’s models no longer peak shortly after their introduction before quickly fading away, as well as considering MPVs are quickly losing ground on crossovers.
The Kia Optima replaced the slow selling Magentis in late 2011 but has never been able to make an impression in the European midsized segment, at less than 4.500 annual sales until 2015. In comparison, its sister Hyundai i40 peaked at over 35.000 units in 2012. As the Optima design had great reviews and is generally considered to be better looking than that of the i40, the success of the latter model is most likely the result of an available station wagon option. To show it’s dedicated to the European market, Kia showed the Optima Sportswagon at the Geneva Auto Show 2016, which tripled the volume of the model to 9.500 units in 2016 after which growth continued to peak at over 16.000 sales in 2017, finally outselling the i40.
The new generation Sorento large SUV and Soul crossover in 2015 helped fuel Kia’s growth that year, and the same can be said of new generations of the Picanto minicar and Rio subcompact hatchback in 2017. The brand has expanded its line-up in recent years with the the Niro hybrid crossover in 2016, the Stinger rear wheel drive sports sedan in 2017 and the Stonic small crossover also in 2017, which replaces the Venga small MPV.
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