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  • 30 years of Kia in the UK coincides with highest-ever market share of five per cent
  • Recognition of 30 years’ rapid growth and progress since launching the Kia Pride in the UK in 1991
  • Two thirds of Kia’s UK sales in just the last 10 years, with 1.2 million Kia vehicles sold in the UK to date

Lookers joins in Kia’s 30th year of sales in the UK celebrations, as a proud member of the Kia dealer network that has helped the brand flourish from a single-model debut in 1991 to enjoying its highest ever market share today as Kia UK Limited.

Kia marked the occasion with a photoshoot of its most important historic models on the banking at the evocative Brooklands motor racing circuit. The banking is less than 300 metres from Kia UK’s previous headquarters, established after the business became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kia Corporation in 2002. Kia UK Limited is currently headquartered in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.

Kia’s 30-year history in the UK began in 1991 with the launch of the Kia Pride, imported by MCL Group and accounting for just 1,786 sales that year. The following three decades have seen the brand introduce successive generations of models across a wide range of vehicle segments. Highlights include four generations of Kia’s UK best-seller, the Sportage, as well the Ceed model family, small cars such as the Picanto and Rio, the Sorento large SUV, and even a high-performance fastback saloon, the Stinger.

In recent years Kia has also launched a range of advanced electrified vehicles, including the fully electric e-Niro and two generations of the zero-emissions Soul EV.

Since 1991, Kia has now sold a total of more than 1.2 million cars in the UK, with two thirds of these sold in only the last 10 years. Kia is also now the most popular it has ever been among UK customers, with a five per cent share of the new car market so far this year.

The image of the Kia brand has also developed significantly over this time, underpinned by relentless improvements in quality and reliability, design, and driver engagement. Since 2010, every model sold by Kia in the UK has offered a seven-year/100,000-mile warranty, providing reliability and reassurance to customers. The brand’s design-led approach to product development has been headed by Peter Schreyer through the brand’s global design network. This has also been matched by an accelerated focus on powertrain development and driving dynamics, ensuring Kia vehicles are as good to drive as they are to own and to look at.

Paul Philpott, President & CEO of Kia UK Limited, commented: “It’s incredible to look at the rate of progress we have enjoyed over the last three decades, both in terms of what our cars now offer drivers and how perceptions of our brand have changed. This success is testament not just to the products and services we offer, but also, importantly, thanks to the dedication and determination of our dealer partners, who tirelessly represent us so well to a growing number of customers up and down the country. 2021 provides an ideal moment for us to see where we’ve come from, but also to look forward to where we’re heading.”

Kia announced its ambitious global ‘Plan S’ strategy in January 2020, establishing a mid- to long-term strategy based around three key pillars:

  • The brand’s transition to electric power will see Kia launch an 11-strong EV line-up by 2026, including seven dedicated EV models. The company is targeting 1.6 million eco-friendly vehicle sales globally by 2030
  • Secondly, to strengthen the purpose-built vehicle (PBV) business, a new PBV is due for launch in 2022, the first step in achieving a target of one million global PBV sales annually by 2030
  • Thirdly, Plan S seeks to expand Kia’s role as a future mobility services provider, diversifying Kia’s products and services to meet the changing mobility needs of customers

Kia also revealed its new logo and ‘Movement that inspires’ brand identity at the start of 2021. The first models to feature the new logo will arrive in the UK later this year.

The Kia product line-up is increasingly populated with hybrid and electric vehicles, and is embarking on an ambitious strategy to launch a range of dedicated new EVs over the next five years. The first of these will be the Kia EV6, which is currently on tour around the UK at Kia showrooms and will be on display to the public at Lookers Showrooms:

  • 19 August at Lookers Kia Newcastle
  • 21 August at Lookers Kia Stockport
  • 23 September at Lookers Kia Chester

Interested customers can book to secure their place here

For more information about the latest Kia range, contact your local Lookers Kia Dealership or see our latest offers here.

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