Kia Motors says it is well equipped to cope following the ending of the British scrappage scheme and plans to maintain sales volumes for 2011 at those of this year.

The South Korean automaker readily admits 2009 was its best year in the UK, but has already moved on from scrappage incentives, which it says "died in the first quarter" of 2010.

Speaking to just-auto today (18 October) at an event in Slovakia to showcase its Sportage brand, Kia Motors UK head of product planning & marketing programmes Ian Mathews, emphasised how assessing the sales landscape once the scheme ended had been a top priority.

"As soon as scrappage started, our thoughts almost immediately turned to post-scrappage," he said. It would have been very easy to get carried away, so the last thing we needed was to take our foot off the gas.

"Scrappage has given us long-term benefits as people see the cars around more - our Sorrento, Venga and Sportage are helping us."

Mathews underlined the important nature of Slovakia as a manufacturing base for Kia, with the Zalina factory increasing the number of vehicles produced at the plant by 67% in the first half of this year.

The factory manufactures the Sportage and Hyundai ix35 for its sister brand, as well as the cee'd hatchback and wagon.

"Having Zalina means we can Europeanise our models and we test cars in Slovakia as well," said Mathews.

"Zalina produces two our of our nine models - the C segment is significant as well as the cross-over segment."