Kia Targets Europe's Top 10

South Korean carmaker Kia is becoming much more popular across Europe, mostly thanks to its compact models that sold in high volumes all over the continent. But the company has much higher expectations from the future and plans to become one of the top 10 mainstream brands in Europe by 2013, which means it would have to surpass popular brands such as Skoda and Renault's Dacia.

In other words, Kia would have to sell around 450,000 units per year, Autonews wrote, which is a 71 percent increase as compared to the volumes delivered by the company in 2010. 262,627 Kias were sold in 2010, while parent company Hyundai delivered a total of 358,284 units, up 4.7 percent, in Europe.

But Kia still believes this can be done. Registering a 71 percent increase over the next two years isn't such a difficult job, says Kia Motors Europe Chief Operating Officer Paul Philpott, while pointing to the growing popularity of the South Korean brand on the Old Continent.

“We have the product, the ambition and the dealer confidence to get there,” he said in a statement for Automotive News Europe. “Our products are now better than our brand recognition.”

The company hopes the new Rio, which will be officially introduced at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in March, will drive its sales forward in the next two years. Kia delivered a total of 19,337 units of the old Rio generation last year, a decrease of 23 percent compared to the year before.

“We enjoy a 4 percent to 5 percent share in those segments where we operate successfully,”
Philpott said. “But with the current Rio, we were below one-half of 1 percent.”
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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