Hyundai Motor affiliate Kia has now sold over 500,000 cars in the UK since launching with Mazda-based models here in 1991.

Sales for 2013 to date were up 10.6% year on year to a record 30,441 vehicles.

Local chief Paul Philpott said: “We predict that we will achieve 1m registrations in the UK before the end of the decade and our long-term ambition is to become a ‘Top Five’ volume car brand in the UK. Considering that our year to date sales equal our entire annual performance from just five years ago I am confident we will get there.”

The Pride - a rebadged Mazda 121 - was the first Kia launched in the UK and 1,786 units were registered that year.  The 100,000 mark was reached with a Rio hatchback in 1994 and a Sportage crossover was the brand’s 250,000th sale in 2008.

The top three best-selling models in the UK in 2013 are the Sportage, Picanto and cee’d.