Kia Motors increased overseas retail sales of passenger cars and light trucks 6.8% year on year to 66,331 units in November.

The announcement came a day after Kia received a Korean government 'US$10bn Export Tower' award yesterday (30 November) for exceeding $10 billion in exports for the year July 2004 to June 2005.

Kia overseas retail sales have jumped 23.9% to 667,452 vehicles in the January to November period this year. Exports are up 13.2% over the same period last year.

By region, November sales grew 17.6% in Europe and 25.9% in the general market compared to the same time last year.

Over the past 11 months, 291,820 vehicles were sold in Europe (up 47.5%) and 173,796 in the general market (31.4%). In North America, 283,609 Kia vehicles have been sold year-to-date (up 3.1%).

Kia attributed the increase in sales to the C-segment Cerato, with 108,228 units sold so far this year. They also credited the Sorento SUV (108,032 units) and A-segment Picanto (107,640 units) as well as the Sportage compact SUV (81,992 units) as strong-selling models.

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