Mazda Motor Europe and Kia Motors (which once built Mazda-derived cars under licence before being absorbed by Hyundai Motor Corporation) have both announced double-digit sales increases for April.

Kia said global vehicle volume rose 24.7% year on year last month to 129,477 units. General markets (up 35.3% to 21,130 units) and the Korean home market (up 29.3% to 27,413) posted the largest rises. Sales in China, Europe and North America also showed strong growth with 13,045 units (24.7%), 34,104 units (25.3%) and 33,785 units (15.2 %) sold, respectively.

Sales in the first four months of 2008 were up 15.5% to 460,364 units with general export markets again posting the largest gain (+32.9% to 73,529 units) while China (+24.7%, 52,543 units) and Europe (+19.4%, 123,309), also showed healthy rises. The home market was up 14.9% to 101,824 units.

So far in 2008, Kia’s best selling export model in export markets has been the C-segment Cerato (aka Spectra) with 68,382 units sold.

Hyoung-Keun Lee, Kia’s senior executive vice president and COO, international business division, said: “Global sales increased this month across all markets and recorded the strongest year-on-year monthly gain in several years. These results are promising indicators for the second quarter.”

Meanwhile, Mazda Motor Europe said its April sales up 21% to 28,300 units was the highest for the month in 16 years and came just one month after it achieved the best single monthly and best fiscal year results in company history.

Retail volume for the first four months was up almost 20% at 127,400 units. Boosted by new models such as the redesigned 2 and 6, Mazda sales have increased in all European regions with 17 countries up year to date.

“All markets contributed to a great start this year,” said MME sales chief Philip Waring. “But we did especially well in Russia and south-eastern Europe.”