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by Tim Beissmann

Kia Motors Corporation experienced a global sales increase of 20.1 percent in 2009, leading to an all-time record 1,651,920 sales of passenger cars and recreational and commercial vehicles.

The year-on-year boost was led by China where 256,732 vehicles were sold, representing a 70 percent increase over 2008.

The Korean domestic market proved the strongest for Kia in terms of unit sales, rising by 30 percent to 412,752. North America (up 11 percent), Western Europe (up eight percent) and other general markets (up 16 percent) accounted for 892,991 sales combined.

In total, Kia’s passenger car sales rose by 16.6 percent over 2008. The Cerato took the mantle as the top seller with 304,295 finding homes around the world, followed by the Rio and Sportage which both recorded sales of more than 170,000.

Despite recording a 17 percent drop in 2009, the Rio was by far the brand’s most popular car in Australia with exactly 8500 sold.

The Cerato (up 55 percent to 2686), Sportage (up 12 percent to 1911) and the Sorento (up 11 percent to 1260) were Kia Australia’s brightest stars in 2009.

Total sales for the year reached 19,407 (including commercial vehicles), representing a respectable 1.3 percent dip in a total market that lost 7.4 percent.

Aiming to get 2010’s sales figures off to a good start, Kia has sharpened its pricing on its family-oriented models by taking advantage of the Federal Government’s import tariff reductions.

New pricing for the Cerato sedan range starts at $18,990 driveaway, the Rondo7 range starts at $24,990 driveaway and the Grand Carnival range starts at $38,990 driveaway.




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