Kia Motors America Posts All-Time Sales And Market Share Records In Year...

Kia Motors America Posts All-Time Sales And Market Share Records In Year Filled With Historic Achievements

Fast-Growing Brand Surpasses the 500,000 Unit Mark for First Time in Company History En Route to 18th Straight Year of Increased U.S. Market Share - As Kia's sales and market share rose in 2012, so did the brand's involvement in the areas of corporate social responsibility, motorsports and pop culture - Following the success achieved in 2012, seven all-new or significantly redesigned Kia vehicles are scheduled to arrive in showrooms in 2013


DETROIT, Jan. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR
WIRE/ — Over the course of the last several years, the Kia brand has matured
and grown dramatically in the U.S. market while capturing the attention of a
wide variety of consumers, and no other year in Kia Motors America’s history has
been as successful as 2012 with the company reaching an all-time high sales
total of 557,599 units.  On the way to a 14.9-percent increase in year-over-year
sales and 18th straight year of increased market share – finishing at an
all-time high of 3.85 percent – Kia sold its four millionth vehicle in the U.S.
in 2012 and received more awards and accolades than any time in the brand’s
history in the market.


Kia’s standing as one of the fastest growing car
companies in the U.S.[1] can be attributed to a comprehensive line of stylish
and fun-to-drive vehicles – including the all-new 2014 Forte and redesigned
Sorento scheduled to go on sale in the first quarter of 2013 – as well as
several high-profile brand initiatives and the continued success of Kia Motors
Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG), which is responsible for the creation of more than
11,000 direct and supplier jobs.  From large-scale marketing activities and road
racing victories to the formation of charitable partnerships with and DC Entertainment, 2012 was an historic year for the Kia
brand, which continues its dramatic transformation.


“Kia is a completely different company from what
it was just three years ago, and 2012 will go down as a milestone year that
demonstrated the power of our brand transformation, which began with the arrival
of the Soul in 2009,” said Byung Mo Ahn, group president and CEO of KMA and KMMG.
 “As Kia continues to grow and strengthen the brand, we remain committed to
advancing value to new levels of sophistication by introducing vehicles with
world-class design, technology and amenities.”


2012 Milestones:


  • Sales:
    KMA surpassed its previous best-ever annual sales total in 11 months and
    sold more than 500,000 vehicles in the U.S. for the first time in company
    history.  KMA’s annual sales record was highlighted by best-ever quarterly
    sales in Q2 with 150,647 units sold, besting the previous record of 140,330
    units sold in Q2 2011.  The U.S.-built* Optima was the brand’s best-selling
    vehicle every month and became the third Kia nameplate to sell more than
    100,000 vehicles in a single year.  Together with the Sorento, Kia’s
    U.S.-built* vehicles accounted for 48.7-percent of sales, and the Soul urban
    passenger vehicle continued its sales success topping 100,000 units for the
    second straight year.

  • KMMG/Optima:
    Named “Large Manufacturer of the Year” by the State of Georgia in April,
    Kia’s U.S. plant in West Point, Ga., is responsible for the creation of more
    than 11,000 direct and supplier jobs.  Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia
    produced its 500,000thvehicle in February and completed a series of
    expansion projects totaling $100 million to increase annual capacity to
    360,000 vehicles.

  • Advanced Technology:
    Co-developed with Microsoft®[2] and based on Windows Embedded
    Auto software, UVO eServices – the second-generation of the company’s
    innovative telematics and infotainment system – debuted at the 2012
    International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and represents an evolution
    from the original UVO system’s capabilities.  Set to first appear on the
    redesigned 2014 Sorento in Q1 2013, UVO eServices will be powered by an
    exclusive free smartphone[3] application that will provide Kia owners with a
    unique in-vehicle connectivity experience, which includes Google Maps
    integration, navigation, diagnostics capabilities, music customization and a
    suite of safety and security features.  UVO is short for “Your Voice.”

  • Corporate Social

    As Kia’s sales rose in 2012, so did the company’s commitment to
    corporate social responsibility, including providing funds to the American
    Red Cross to assist victims of Hurricane Sandy.  Additionally, Kia formed
    the first-ever national automotive partnership with – named
    by Fast Company as one of “The Most Innovative Companies” in 2011 –
    to raise funds and supply much needed resources to more than 500,000 public
    school students across America and supported DC Entertainment’s “We Can Be
    Heroes” campaign to raise funds to fight the hunger crisis in the Horn of
    Africa by creating a fleet of superhero rides inspired by the iconic
    characters from DC Comics’ Justice League comic books.

  • Memorable Marketing:
    Kia’s efforts to raise consumer awareness, perception and consideration of
    the brand continued, focusing on four key marketing pillars:  music, sports,
    connected life and pop culture.  The year began with another highly
    effective Super Bowl ad, titled “Drive the Dream,” for the range-topping
    Optima SXL model which starred supermodel Adriana Lima, legendary rockers
    Motley Crue, and mixed martial arts legend Chuck Liddell in a Gen X couple’s
    wildest thoughts after Mr. Sandman sprinkles “Sweet Dreams” dust on them. 
    The eclectic cast helped generate buzz for the campaign before, during and
    after the Super Bowl with Tweets and Facebook postings.  According to, the Super Bowl campaign caused a 432-percent spike in Kia
    Optima searches, following the game and the Kia brand received an 18-percent
    boost. Not to be outdone, Kia’s music-loving hamsters (the stars of some of
    the most watched viral videos in the world over the last three years)
    returned in a new campaign for the wildly popular Soul urban passenger
    vehicle.  The campaign brought the 21st century’s electronic
    dance music craze to a stuffy 18th century opera house.  Set to
    “In My Mind” (Axwell remix), “Bringing Down the House” appeared on more than
    18,000 movie screens nationwide followed by the television debut during the
    MTV Video Music Awards as well as presence on all Kia social and digital
    platforms, including Facebook, YouTube and  From hamster wheels on
    city streets to a post-apocalyptic video game world, the hamsters have
    earned international acclaim and notoriety for the Soul and elevated the Kia
    brand by appealing to the young and the young-at-heart through marketing
    efforts that emphasize creativity, optimism and fun.Kia is currently in its
    sixth season as the “Official Automotive Partner of the NBA,” and added the
    Oklahoma City Thunder to its roster of 15 team partnerships in December. 
    Los Angeles Clippers All-Star power forward Blake Griffin and Kia’s global
    brand ambassador also appeared in a series of humorous new television
    commercials featuring the best-selling Optima midsize sedan and innovative
    UVO voice-activated infotainment system.  In the five 30-second spots
    rolling out during the 2012 – 2013 NBA season, Griffin offers helpful
    suggestions to younger versions of himself as Kia’s UVO voice-activated
    infotainment system takes his futuristic Optima on a time-traveling musical
    journey through the mid-1990s and early-2000s.  As part of KMA’s strategic
    marketing plan, the company continued its partnership with golf superstar
    Michelle Wie, one of the most recognizable youth athletes in the world, and
    renewed its Official Automotive Partnership with the LPGA (Ladies
    Professional Golf Association).  Kia also signed a multi-year agreement as
    the title sponsor of the Kia Classic LPGA golf tournament, announcing that
    the 2013 Kia Classic will move to the Aviara Golf Club at the Park Hyatt in
    Carlsbad, Calif., in March.In the fall, Kia Motors America joined forces
    with renowned comic book publisher DC Entertainment to bring the world’s
    greatest superheroes to life by combining automotive styling with comic book
    art.  The 10-month long partnership, which will ultimately yield eight
    individually customized vehicles, harnesses the talents of legendary comic
    book artist and DC Entertainment Co-Publisher Jim Lee, who has collaborated
    on the designs of the vehicles with his vision for each iconic member of DC
    Comics’ Justice League.  To that, each core member of the Justice
    League line-up – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash,
    Aquaman and Cyborg – has been matched to a Kia vehicle based on key
    attributes and character traits to create custom, one-of-a-kind rides to be
    unveiled at major auto shows and Comic-Con events across the U.S.  Many of
    Kia’s most recognizable and decorated models – the Optima, Soul, Sorento,
    Sportage, Rio and Forte – will wear the iconic colors and marks of the
    legendary Justice League superheroes and be built by West Coast Customs,
    magazine, Import Tuner magazine, among others.  The Kia/DC
    Entertainment partnership benefits “We Can Be Heroes,” a giving campaign
    dedicated to helping fight hunger in the Horn of Africa.

  • Remarkable Rookie Season in
    Pirelli World Challenge: 

    Kia’s prowess on the race track reached a new level in
    2012 when the company launched into the Pirelli World Challenge with its
    best-selling vehicle, the Optima mid-size sedan.  A pair of turbocharged
    Optimas took to the grueling 12-race schedule across eight tracks and two
    countries and turned heads as they enjoyed unprecedented success for a
    rookie season, including two pole positions and two race wins at Canadian
    Tire Motorsports Park and a total of six podium finishes.  For 2013, the
    Optimas are back and are looking to make a run at Kia’s second U.S. road
    racing championship.  The 2013 Pirelli World Challenge schedule has expanded
    to tracks such as Circuit of the Americas, Streets of Toronto, Lime Rock
    Park and Houston Grand Prix.

  • Awards & Accolades: 

    • 2013 Sorento, 2012
      Optima and 2012 Rio named to Consumer Guide’s “Best Buy” list

    • 2013 Optima named by
      Fox Business as a “Best Car for the Budget-Minded Retiree”

    • 2012 Optima awarded
      Kiplinger’s Personal Finance “2012 Best New Car Value”

    • 2012 Optima named
      Autobytel’s “2012 Sedan of the Year”

    • 2012 Optima and Sorento
      named among “Best Family Cars of 2012” by and Parents

    • 2012 Optima Hybrid
      named one of ten “Cheapest Hybrid Cars” by Automobile Magazine

    • 2012 Optima and
      Sportage named to NADAguides “Must Consider List for Summer 2012”

    • 2013 Sorento named to
      Autobytel’s list of “10 of the Best Compact SUVs”

    • 2013 Sorento named as
      the vehicle of the month by NADAguides

    • 2013 Sorento and
      Sportage named “Best Value” in Strategic Vision survey

    • 2013 Sorento awarded
      silver medal in Auto Trader’s “Automotive Games Versatility and
      Hauling:  SUVs and Crossovers” categories

    • 2012 Sorento named to
      “10 Best Family Cars of 2012” list by Kelley Blue Book’s

    • 2012 Forte picked as a
      “Top Ten for Teens” by USAA

    • 2012 Forte 5-door, Koup
      and Optima named Best Subcompact and Family Sedans by MotorWeek

    • 2012 Forte named as a
      “Top Car for College Grads” by Total Car Score

    • 2012 Forte 5-door and
      Koup awarded’s “2012 Best Value in America”

    • 2013 Rio and Forte Koup
      named to’s list of “10 Great Cars for First Time Drivers”

    • 2012 Rio 5-door named
      “Subcompact Car of the Year” by Fama’s Mujeres Al Volante

    • 2012 Rio named by
      Autobytel as one of the “Best Small Sedans of 2012”

    • 2012 Rio received Red
      Dot and IDEA Design Awards

    • 2012 Rio named to “Best
      Cars for Teens” list by

    • 2012 Rio 5-door, Forte
      and Soul named as “Most Versatile 2012 New Cars Under 20K” by NADAguides

    • 2013 Rio and Soul named
      by Autobytel to list of “Top 10 Lowest Priced New Cars”

    • 2012 Soul wins Active
      Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year Award in Urban Category

    • 2012 Soul named segment
      winner in Initial Quality Study (IQS) by J.D. Power and Associates

    • 2012 Soul named one of
      the “Top 10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000” and “Top Tailgating Car for
      2012” by Kelley Blue Book’s

    • 2012 Soul ranked number
      one on the “10 Best Back-to-School Cars in 2012” list by Kelley Blue

    • 2012 Soul recognized
      for Lowest Cost of Ownership in Non-Luxury Compact Car category by
      Kelley Blue Book’s

    • 2012 Soul named by
      Autobytel as “Best New Crossover SUV for College Students”

    • 2012 Soul named to
      Autobytel’s list of “10 Best New Cars Under $15,000”

    • 2012 Soul and Optima
      ranked class-best in APEAL Study by J.D. Power and Associates

    • 2012 Soul and Sorento
      named “Top Scoring 2012 Car” in segment by Total Car Score

    • 2012 Soul and Sportage
      named to Autobytel’s “Fast Five:  Most-Affordable Crossovers of 2012”

    • 2012 Sportage named one
      of five “Most Affordable SUVs 2012” by Autobytel

    • 2012 Sportage named to
      “Top Cars for Teens” list by AAA

    • 2012 Sportage named a
      “Best Value” by USAA

    • 2012 Sportage named as
      one of “Top Six Cars Under $30,000 With Five-Star Safety Ratings” and
      “Top 8 Least Expensive New SUVs” by

    • Kia Justice League cars
      named to Autobytel’s “10 hottest SEMA cars” list

    • honored by J.D.
      Power and Associates, Mobile Marketing Association and Digiday

    • Kia Motors Corporation
      named to list Top 100 Best Global Brands by Interbrand

    • Kia named to “Top 10
      Best Car Brands for 2012” list by Total Car Score

    • Kia Motors awarded the
      Bronze Effie at the 2012 North American Effie Awards for “Not Your
      Average Slam Dunk” Blake Griffin/Optima campaign

    • Kia Motors named “Best
      Total Cost of Ownership Brand” by Kelley Blue Book’s

    • Kia Motors America
      Corporate Headquarters honored with “Good Design is Good Business” award
      from Architectural Record

    • Kia Motors
      Manufacturing Georgia named “Large Manufacturer of the Year” by State of


Kia:  One of the World’s Fastest Moving Global
Automotive Brands
Motors America is one of only three auto brands to increase U.S. sales in each
of the past four years, and in 2012 the company surpassed the 500,000 unit mark
for the first time.  With a full line of fun-to-drive cars and CUVs, Kia is
advancing value to new levels of sophistication by combining European-influenced
styling – under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer – with
cutting-edge technologies, premium amenities, affordable pricing and the lowest
cost of ownership in the industry.  Kia recently joined the exclusive ranks of
Interbrand’s “Top 100 Best Global Brands,” and is poised to continue its
record-breaking momentum with seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles
arriving in showrooms in 2013.  Over the past decade Kia Motors has invested
more than $1.4 billion in the U.S., including the company’s first U.S. assembly
plant in West Point, Georgia – Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) – which
is responsible for the creation of more than 11,000 plant and supplier jobs. 
The success of the U.S.-built* Optima and Sorento in two of the industry’s
largest segments has fueled Kia’s growth and is complemented by Kia’s
comprehensive lineup which includes the Sportage compact CUV, Soul urban
passenger vehicle, Optima Hybrid, Forte compact sedan, 5-door compact hatchback
and Forte Koup two-door coupe, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and Sedona


About Kia Motors America
Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation
based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more
than 765 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the “Official
Automotive Partner” of the NBA and LPGA. In 2012, KMA recorded its best-ever
annual sales total and gained U.S. market share for the 18th consecutive year. 
Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand
through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new


Information about Kia Motors America and its full
vehicle line-up is available at its website –
. For media information, including photography, visit .


* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX Trims and
certain LX Trims only) and GDI Turbo are built in the United States from U.S.
and globally sourced parts.
Based on comparison of 12-month retail sales from November 2007 to November 2012
of all U.S. automotive brands and five-year average sales growth.
[2] Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United
States and/or other countries.
[3] At launch, the Apple iPhone will be the only UVO eServices compatible
device. Apple iOS6 compatibility expected early 2013. Additional compatible
devices expected late 2013. iPhone® is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.


SOURCE  Kia Motors America

Kia Motors America Posts All-Time Sales And Market Share Records In Year Filled With Historic Achievements