Kia will launch 51 new or updated models before the end of 2016 in an effort to maintain its spectacular growth surge, which is set to result in 2012 becoming the company’s fourth successive record year for production, sales and profits.

As part of the plan, Kia will move into new niches, with a hot hatchback based on the new Procee’d arriving next summer, an electric version of the next Soul in 2014 and possibly even a rear-wheel-drive sports car. There would also be additional derivatives of existing or updated cars in the list of newcomers.

The product onslaught for Europe begins with the introduction of the next Procee’d and an all-new seven-seat Carens in the first half of next year. Before the end of the year the second-generation Soul will be unveiled, although it will be 2014 before it makes it to the UK. There will also be updates or ‘product enhancements’ to three of Kia’s current models.

For markets outside of Europe, Kia has just announced a facelifted version of the K7/Cadenza executive saloon and a new K3/Cerato, a compact four-door car that shares many parts and systems with the European Cee’d. The flagship K9 saloon, which went on sale in the domestic market earlier in the year, will also begin exports as the Quoris.

Kia has replaced almost all of its European range in less than two years, so it will be 2015-2016 before big changes are made to the most recent models. The Venga will be first up for replacement after the Soul.

Roger Stansfield