KIA, which claims to be the UK’s fastest growing car company [and the claim is also made for the brand in Australia], has just sold its 100,000th car here.

The brand has enjoyed five record sales years in a row with exceptional growth since the independent importer was taken over by Kia Motors Corporation in August 2002 to become a ‘factory shop’.

Kia Motors (UK) managing director Paul Williams said: “It took Kia 10 years to achieve its first 50,000 sales [in the UK] but the company is now on target to exceed the same figure in just two years (2003-2004) and plans to be selling 50,000 cars in a single year by 2006.”

“This rapid growth has been achieved by bringing higher quality products to market, extending the product line-up, offering strong consumer offers and maximising market coverage. Nine product launches took place between 1991 and 1999 compared to 10 between 1999 and 2003 and 16 planned between 2004-2007.

“This level of growth has been sustained by expanding and strengthening the number, quality and sales potential of our dealer network.”

Of the 100,000 cars sold, approximately 25,000 are Kia Prides (last sold in spring 2000), 16,500 Sedona, 14,500 Rio (the current best seller) and 11,500 Sportage (last sold in 2003).

Kia year on year sales at the end of February were up 89% in a market up just 5.2%. This is claimed to have placed Kia ahead of Seat and Skoda in the UK.