Kia Motors has seen record European sales for new hybrid and electric vehicles in the first quarter of 2020, despite a decline in total vehicle sales as a result of disruption caused by the spread of coronavirus. Kia also captured its highest-ever share of the European market during the first quarter.
According to new data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), Kia’s total European sales declined slightly to 113,026 units in the first quarter of 2020. This represents a fall of around -14.5 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2019, when the brand recorded its best-ever quarterly sales in Europe (132,174 units). However, this decline was smaller than that seen by the wider European automotive sector (-26.3 per cent total new car sales across the EU, EFTA and UK). As a result, Kia’s market share has grown from 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 to an all-time-high of 3.7 per cent in the first three months of 2020.
In Q1, Kia Motors (UK) Limited sold 22,295 cars which equates to over 19 per cent of total European sales.
Despite a challenging start to the year, sales of new electrified Kia models – hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles – grew by 20.8 per cent, to 21,340 units. Electrified models now account for almost a fifth of all new Kia sales in Europe (18.9 per cent of all Kia Europe sales during the first quarter of 2020), up from 13.4 per cent of Kia sales during the first three months of 2019.
In the UK during the first three months of 2020, Kia sold 3,347 hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, making up 15 per cent of the total electrified sales in Europe. This is an increase of 27 per cent when compared to the first three months of 2019. Of the electrified vehicles sold in 2020, 22 per cent were battery electric vehicles.
Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, commented: “The first three months of 2020 have been challenging for the whole industry due to social distancing and lockdown measures adopted across many European markets. However, we have seen growing sales for Kia’s range of hybrid and electric cars – every electrified model line we sell in Europe has seen sales growth this quarter. The arrival of new plug-in hybrid models, improved availability of EVs, and an expanded Ceed model family has also boosted our sales and market share this quarter.”
In the first quarter of 2020, Kia’s battery electric vehicles, the e-Niro and e-Soul (badged Soul EV in the UK), accounted for 32 per cent of all electrified vehicle sales, up from 22 per cent in 2019. Plug-in hybrid models, including new Plug-in Hybrid variants of the XCeed and Ceed Sportswagon, also grew in popularity, and now account for 30 per cent of all electrified Kia sales.
The Kia Soul EV has also recently won the ‘World Urban Car’ award at the 2020 World Car of the Year awards, an accolade which is expected to generate further interest in Kia’s electrified product range. The Kia Telluride, sold in North America and The Middle East, was also named 2020 World Car of the Year.
Kia’s best-selling model line also recorded sales growth during the first quarter of the year. Sales of the Ceed model family – comprising Ceed, Ceed Sportswagon, ProCeed, and XCeed – rose by 18.8 per cent during the first quarter, to 29,664 units. With all individual models within the family remaining popular across Europe, additional sales growth has been supported by the arrival of the all-new XCeed in the second half of 2019 and new Plug-in Hybrid variants at the start of 2020.
After the Ceed model family, the Sportage (23,011 units), Niro (16,010), Stonic (15,115) and Picanto (13,639) completed the list of Kia’s five top-selling models in Europe.