KIA Motors has announced a year-on-year net profit boost of 67 percent to a record 552.2 billion won ($US423 million) for 2001.

Sales for the year were up 14.3 percent to 12.4 trillion won.
Despite a lack of new models for about a year, January 2002 sales rose to 70,476 vehicles, up 7.2 percent year on year, and exports rose 1.8 percent.

Kia did, however, just debut a new, larger 3.5-litre V6-powered SUV called the Sorento at the recent Chicago motor show. It goes on sale in South Korea later this month with vital U.S. market sales starting mid-2002. Annual target is 50,000.

Kia has set this year’s sales target at 13.4 trillion won. Parent company Hyundai recently announced 2001 net profit was up 75 percent to a record 1.17 trillion won.