Kia Motors Corporation's overseas retail sales of passenger cars and light trucks in July 2005 rose 27.3% year on year to 73,215 units, the automaker said in a statement on Monday.

July exports increased to 75,041 units, a 44.8% rise year on year.

The figures exclude vehicles shipped from Korea in CKD kit form, for assembly in foreign plants.

For the first seven months of this year, Kia overseas retail sales rose to 476,406 units with 528,166 vehicles exported. This is a year-on-year increase of 29.6% in sales and 29.8% in exports.

By region, sales in July 2005 grew by 45.5% in Europe, 35.2% in the 'general market' (Central & South America, Asia & Pacific, and Middle East & Africa), and 10.2% in North America compared to the same month last year.

Kia attributed the good results in overseas markets to strong sales of the recently introduced redesigned Sportage SUV as well as continuing "robust" sales of the C-segment Cerato (also sold as the Spectra), Sorento SUV and A-segment Picanto. The Carnival (Sedona) minivan has also seen a steady increase in sales in North America, the automaker said.