Kia has hit the landmark of one million cars sold in the UK – less than 30 years after the Kia Pride was made available to British motorists in 1991.
The Korean manufacturer has certainly come a long way since the competent but oft-ridiculed Pride, which was based on the Mazda 121 is best remembered among many Brits for being supplied with white wall tyres. In its first year Kia sold 1786 cars were in the UK, but in 2018 the company hit another record sales volume of 95,764, bringing its overall total since that first Pride to 998,069. Now a customer in Scotland, Dr Fergus Duncan, has become the proud owner of a blue Sportage GT-Line model delivered by Kia dealer Flear and Thompson of Dunfermline, bringing that total up to the one million mark.
In the marque’s first decade in the UK, just under 50,000 cars were sold. After 20 years Kia had delivered 372,000 cars to UK customers, but that pace accelerated after the opening of the company’s plant in Slovakia in 2006, with around 626,000 cars coming to the UK in the last eight years.
Paul Philpott, President and Chief Executive at Kia in the UK, said: “This is a remarkable milestone and all of us at Kia are extremely proud to have reached this momentous moment inside three decades.
“The Kia brand started in the UK with sensible, budget-focused vehicles but during the last decade in particular our customer-base has grown on the back of outstanding design, unmatchable quality and the reassurance of our industry-leading seven year warranty.
“I don’t know just when we will reach the two million mark, but we are all looking forward to the journey to that point and it will be an exciting ride that I am sure will see the nature of the motoring world change quite considerably.”
Kia’s biggest selling car in that total is Sportage with 241,912 sold since 1995. The Picanto ranks second with 191,926 sold since 2004 and Cee’d has sold 138,253 since its launch in 2007.