Kia posted record-high monthly sales in China last month, backed by strong demand for the Sorento SUV.

The company sold 38,858 vehicles in the country in January, up 22.7% from a month earlier and an increase of 13.7% over the month last year.

Sister company Hyundai sold 72,319 units in China last month, up 15.1% compared to January 2010.

The Hyundai Motor Group, consisting of Hyundai, Kia and other affiliates, including parts maker Hyundai Mobis, has become the second-largest car seller in China with a 9% market share, trailing only Volkswagen.

The two Korean carmakers sold a combined total of 1.1m vehicles in China last year.