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Kia looks to triple sales within next three years

Kia Motors Corporation is looking to expand its retail network and increase market share throughout Europe after taking control of key distribution operations, including the UK business from MCL Group.

Jean-Charles Lievens, KMC vice-president of sales and marketing, believes the firm is capable of selling 300,000 cars in Europe by the end of 2005 - effectively tripling its sales.

“Our product line-up has become incredibly strong over the last three years and with a range of new vehicles being planned we can expect an exciting period of growth for the company,” he says.

Kia plans to capitalise on success that is being largely driven by the Sedona and the new Sorento with the launch of the Carens. But it is also developing new models to improve representation in all sectors of the market.

Key to this growth will be the partnership with Hyundai, which will see the number of the firm's platforms reduced from 24 to seven, as well as sharing research and development costs.

“But this growth will also be achieved by expanding and reinforcing Kia's European dealer network in urban areas,” says Lievens.

The firm currently has about 100 UK dealers but is expecting this to increase by up to 20 sites before the end of this year, with open points available in most major UK cities.

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