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Kia bucking falling global car sales trend


High-stepping Korean carmaker, Kia, says it’s bucking the global slump in new vehicle sales

In the first 10 months of 2008, it sold 1.17 million vehicles worldwide, a 12.7 percent improvement over 2007.

Strong sales in China and Korea more than offset dips in crisis-hit US and Europe. Sales in China, where Kia opened its second factory last year, are ahead by 36.8 percent and in Korea by 33.9 percent. In markets outside America and Europe, Kia sales rose by 15.2 percent.

Kia moved back into profit this year, after heavy investments in new factories had put its finances under pressure.

With a range of new models due in 2009 including the Soul city car (pictured) and the new Cerato sedan, Kia is well placed to continue weathering the current financial storms, says Kia Motors of New Zealand general manager, Todd McDonald, though he admits “results are likely to be weaker over the next few months.”

He says Kia’s current success has come at a time when it had few new offerings to boost sales. Next year it will start a new model blitz.

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