Kia's UK chief predicts further sales growth off the back of a record first quarter
Jim Holder
10 April 2013

Kia UK boss Paul Philpott has targeted sales growth of more than 50 per cent by the end of the decade — putting the Korean manufacturer in the top five sellers in the UK market with more than 100,000 sales a year.

Speaking off the back of a record first quarter in 2013, during which Kia sold more than 19,000 cars, 12 per cent up year-on-year, Philpott predicted further gains despite expectations of a relatively static market.

"I expect the UK market to stay between two and 2.2 million units a year, but within that Kia has great potential for growth," said Philpott. "We are a relatively young brand, with low but rising awareness of the quality of our products.

The new Kia Ceed, Kia Picanto and Kia Sportage are currently the firm's best sellers in the UK, with customers increasingly speccing higher grade models, raising Philpott's hopes of greater profitability.

"We've already reacted by introducing a higher kit level for the Sportage, and we are looking at doing the same for the new Carens," said Philpott. "The days of people buying the entry-level Kia are changing."

Following the launch of the latest Kia Carens later this year, the firm's aggressive six-year renewal of its entire range will be complete. Philpott conceded this meant the time is now right for Kia to launch new, more niche sellers that help raise the brand profile.

"Aside from facelifts, the next few years will have space for other product launches. The Provo concept at the Geneva motor show was one example of where we will go - it was extremely well received and everyone expects growth in the small SUV segment."

Our Verdict

Kia Sportage
Kia’s well priced compact soft-roader has been given attention-seeking looks

The Kia Sportage is more SUV than hatchback, with family appeal and value to commend it

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10 April 2013

The Optima is a good looking car, how is it selling vs. the likes of the Insignia?

10 April 2013

Looks like Kia have a long way to go in the Insignia Sector

For example the last quarter of 2012 sales figures for similar rivals to the Kia Optima is as follows


13th Vauxhall Insignia 6,714

26th Ford Mondeo 3,996

44th VW Passat 2,957

The Kia Optima is not in the Top 100, which is a shame i think its an attractive looking car, the option of just one engine does it no favours though


10 April 2013

God I hope not, they are already every other car in Grimsby, is this what the rest of ethe UK is to become? 


And teh Optima good looking? It is better looking than a Hyundai Stellar but looks like a modern day Datsun 120 to me. However it is still a very 'American' car and unti it becomes more European, they will still flounder in no-man's land in sales. If you need to see how to do it in that size of car, 3er BMW 6th best selling car, MB C-Klasser 9th in UK charts. Just goes to show what makes fleet buyers tick. 

11 April 2013


Highly unlikely that nearly one in two cars in Grimsby are Kia Optimas.

Probably the fact that it's an interesting looking vehicle, that provokes conversation and is far more noticeable amongst the several thousand C-Class, 3-Series and A4's that would probably make up 1 in 2 cars in Grimsby. Sales volumes to date suggest this.

If you stripped all of the 'company car and leasing' sales from the aforementioned 'premium brands' and looked at proper 'retail' sales, i'd imagine the sales figures will be alot closer than you'd imagine.

The Optima could work well as a company funded vehicle due to spec, and whole life running costs (WLRC), but you can't avoid the facts, which is residual values and running costs determine the cost of leasing, and  that a 3-series works out cheaper as a companty car than a Kia Optima due to stronger residuals and WLRC.

Just think of other established mainstream brands, that are also struggling for sales (Renault, Peugeot, Citroen etc), Fleet or Retail.

The 'American' styling of the Optima (your words not mine, i disagree as American styled cars haven't a hope to be as good looking and well designed as a modern Kia, hence the top 10 best selling Saloon cars in America, have no American cars and is mainly the Koreans and Japanese) is due to Kia knowing where there best selling maket is and working it.

Lastly, a Datsun 120Y, was considered a Ford Escort rival in its day, so poor comparison. You were closer with the Stellar, which was a revised Ford Cortina anyway!


10 April 2013

It will happen, unless Kim jong flattens South Korea! but then a lot of Kia's are made in Europe now.

10 April 2013

Kia have built a reputation and increasing their sale by 50 percent in 7 years doesn't seem too ambitious for the talented Koreans.

However I do remember reading that the Kia have run out of capacity. They'll need a few more factories to meet their new targets.

Nissan, Toyota and Honda are doing exceptionally well in the UK. Is it amiss to expect Kia to install a factory here in Britain?

10 April 2013

Bought my Optima last year after test driving Insignia, Mondeo, Superb, Passat and Avensis. The Optima beat them hands down on price, equipment, ride and overall running costs. First time I have ever bought a KIA and to be honest, this is one ot the best cars I have ever bought. Ok its no BMW or Merc but its stylish, well equiped and well built and quite rare. I have 2 friends who have bought one after seeing and driving mine.


11 April 2013

They do seem to be on a roll and their sister company Hyundai is good too .

Have an i30 as a hire car at the mo and its suprisingly good . Comfortable refined and well specced . Yes I did walk past a Focus and an Astra and chose the Hyundai in preference to both of em . Have driven both before and wanted to try something different .

The only cautionary note I would have is watch the pricing . Its edging up too fast .

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