Kia Motors posted its best six-month sales period in Europe, with half-year sales surpassing 250,000 for the first time in the company’s history. Hybrid and electric vehicles accounted for 7.5% of European sales so far this year, up from just one per cent in the first six months of 2016, according to Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe.
The latest data released by ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association) shows that Kia sold 251,472 units across Europe during the first six months of the year, a 9.5% rise, year-on-year. In addition, Kia’s cumulative market share climbed to 3.0%, up from 2.8% (229,585 units) during the first half of 2016. Vehicles with all-electric or electrified powertrains represent the greatest area of growth for Kia sales in Europe.
Since the start of 2017, the new Kia Niro hybrid crossover has accounted for 16,002 unit sales, making it Kia’s fifth best-selling European vehicle (after the Picanto, Rio, Sportage and cee’d model family).
In total, electrified and all-electric Kia vehicles accounted for 18,804 unit sales in the first half of 2017, up from 2,398 units from January-to-June in 2016 (more than a seven-fold increase in sales). The Niro was joined by the new Optima Plug-in Hybrid sedan (428 units) and Soul EV (2,272 units).
Our growth has been boosted by new models launched in the last few months, and our growing range of vehicles with electrified powertrains. Alternatively-fueled vehicles have This trend will continue as we expand our electric and hybrid model line-up, and as consumer demand continues to shift towards advanced powertrains.—Michael Cole
Hybrid and electric sales are due to grow further throughout the year, as the new Niro Plug-in Hybrid and Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid—with greater all-electric, zero-emissions range from their larger batteries—are due on sale over the summer.
Two new compact models—the all-new Rio and Picanto—were also launched at the start of the year, with each resulting in greater sales than their predecessors. Combining run-out sales of the old models and those of the new model, Rio sales have grown 15.1% year-on-year (41,139 units), while sales of the A-segment Picanto grew 23.2% year-on-year (to 34,880 units).
Optima sales have also seen an increase, with the creation of the new Sportswagon body style and new powertrain options, including a high-powered GT model, and Plug-in Hybrid variants. Optima sales so far this year stand at 8,371 units, a rise of 153.8% compared to the same period in 2016 when the previous generation was on sale.