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Kia plans slow climb to 1% UK market share

Kia Cars (UK) has set itself the target of achieving a 1% share of the UK new car market by the end of 2004 through steady growth backed up by extremely competitively priced new models.

Registrations rose a record 80% last year, in a market up 1%, largely thanks to the success of the Sedona MPV, plus spring 0% finance offers. As it prepares to launch two new models, the Mentor and Magentis saloons on July 7 and Rio hatchback later in the year, Kia has a market share so far this year of 0.48%, down 18.69% on the same period last year. Unit sales for 2000 reached 11,523.

Speaking at the UK launch of the Mentor and Magentis, Kia's UK managing director Mark Quinn said: “During this year and a large proportion of last we were running on a four-car line-up, having lost the B-sector car which accounted for about 2,000 sales per annum.

“But even so, in the first months of this year we're selling about 1,000 units a month. “We're making steady progress. With three new vehicles this year and one each in 2002 and 2003 we will be pushing towards 1% of the market.

"But our name is still not well known, but we're looking to address that through some renewed marketing.”

Kia has put a Friday embargo on details of the Magentis and Mentor. But Mr Quinn said Kia expects to sell up top 800 of each in a full year.

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