Exports for 2004 totalled 330,707 units to the US and 264,412 units to Europe.
Kia plans to raise its total annual number of units exported to Europe by 412,000 and expects to dispatch one million vehicles globally in 2005.
Kia marked the latest milestone with a ceremony at its Pyeongtaek shipping berth in Korea. Kia Motors (UK) is also going to donate a Sorento 2.5 CRDI from the record-breaking shipment to Oxfam.
Kia Motors (UK) managing director, Paul Williams says: "It is remarkable how Kia’s export business has grown when you consider that at its founding just over 60 years ago the company was making bicycles and didn’t even begin exports until 1975.
"Even here in the UK the brand was little known until the late 1990s, but since then its growth has been dramatic and this year we are set to bring 45,000 cars to the UK – a sixth consecutive year of record growth and firmly maintaining the trend that has made Kia the fastest growing brand in the UK for the last three years."
Kia now exports to 160 countries around the world and as well as its production facilities in Korea – where it is capable of building more than 1.3 million vehicles a year.
Kia UK now has a network of more than 155 dealers and in 2004 set a new sales record of 33,000 vehicles.
The company’s expansion plan is based on further new models expected during the next 12-18 months including a new Rio to compete in the B-segment and new replacements for the Sedona large MPV and the Magentis family saloon next year.