Kia Motors this week launched the facelifted K3 passenger car in South Korea, as the automaker looks to maintain its sales momentum in a weakening domestic market due to the COVID19 coronavirus outbreak.

The upgraded compact passenger car comes with a 1.6-litre engine at prices ranging between KRW17m and KRW21m (US$13,821-US$17,073) for the three door model and KRW22m-KRW25m for the five-door, depending on equipment levels.

Kia sold 44,387 K3 models in South Korea last year and exported a further 49,327. The model is also produced in Europe as the Ceed, as well as in China and in other plants around the world.

Domestic sales of the K3 fell by over 44% to 6,266 units in the first quarter of 2020, while overall domestic sales were slightly higher at 116,739 units.

Kia's first quarter global sales were down by less than 1% at 644,102 units, a significant outperformance on the overall global auto industry.