Kia Motors America Sees Record Sales and Market Share Gains in 2010


Sales of Company’s First U.S.-Built* Vehicle Account for 30 Percent of Kia Sales in 2010, Leading Company’s Rapid Brand Transformation

  • Most aggressive new product launch cycle in the industry delivers 18.7 Percent Year-Over-Year Sales Increase in 2010
  • Innovative marketing initiatives raise awareness and consideration for the Kia brand

DETROIT, January 10, 2011 – 2010 was an historic year for Kia Motors America (KMA), including important milestones such as the company’s best-ever full-year sales of 356,268 units; a 16th consecutive year of market share growth to an all-time high of 3.1 percent; the launch of the company’s first U.S.-built vehicle the Sorento CUV; and extending and expanding the brand’s marketing partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA). KMA’s 2010 sales represents a staggering 18.7-percent improvement over 2009, due in large part to the introduction of four new vehicles Sorento, Sportage, Optima and Forte 5-door that attracted new and more affluent customers to its showrooms and began changing the perception of the brand with their combination of dramatic styling, fun-to-drive performance, advanced technology features and outstanding value.

“Kia Motors’ design-led transformation has resulted in unprecedented growth over the past few years, delivering a wave of new products that have redefined the Kia value story and are attracting new customers to our brand every day,” said Byung Mo Ahn, group president and CEO of KMA and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG). “Our significant sales milestones in 2010 demonstrate Kia’s growing brand significance in the U.S. market. As we begin 2011, we are well positioned for continued success with the help of our dynamically styled new and recently introduced products such as Soul, Forte, Forte Koup, Forte 5-door, Sportage and Optima, and more all-new vehicles will be arriving later this year.”

With several new vehicle introductions and additional key initiatives planned for 2011, Kia Motors is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, technology, quality, value and safety features.

KMA 2010 Milestones:

  • Sales:

  • KMA surpassed its previous full-year sales total in just 11 months and sold more than 350,000 vehicles in the U.S. for the first time in company history. KMA’s annual sales of 356,268 new vehicles was highlighted by nine monthly and four quarterly sales records and the sale of the three millionth Kia vehicle in the U.S. in March. In addition to outstanding sales performance, Kia-brand residual values continued to increase in 2010, improving to 42 percent, up from 37 percent a year ago1. The 2011 Sportage compact CUV received Kia’s highest ever residual value at launch from ALG, leading the class, while the all-new 2011 Optima experienced a 66 percent increase over the previous generation vehicle Kia’s best-ever new model residual value increase in the U.S.

    Furthering the company’s rapid expansion and bringing a comprehensive and convenient shopping experience to consumers, in November 2010, KMA and eBay Motors created a nationwide new vehicle online shopping experience, the first for a major OEM brand on eBay, with a unique online store front to market new Kia vehicles. Through the program, more than 445 Kia dealers or 61 percent have signed up to list their entire stock of new Kia vehicle inventory online.

  • KMMG/Sorento:

  • The 2011 Kia Sorento CUV, the first Kia vehicle to surpass 100,000 units in a single year, is the first vehicle built at KMMG in West Point, Georgia. Accounting for 30 percent of Kia vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2010, the 2011 Sorento combines the brand’s distinctive design language with standard features, value and safety. In addition, the 2011 Sorento was named a 2010 “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shortly after its debut in January.

    Beginning production in November 2009, KMMG is a state-of-the-art facility utilizing the latest in vehicle assembly technology and standards. In 2010, the team at KMMG grew to 2,500 team members with an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles. A $1 billion investment by Kia, KMMG is built on 2,200-acres and includes a main assembly plant, body stamping facility, a transmission shop, and a two mile test track.

  • Marketing:

  • KMA kicked off 2010 with the biggest vehicle launch in company history for the Sorento, including the company’s first-ever billboard in Times Square and Super Bowl ad a 60-second spot titled “Joyride Dream” which resulted in 196,000 visits to and 108,000 visits to the Monday after the Super Bowl. The commercial gained significant attention and features a colorful cast of characters, including Muno from the popular YO GABBA GABBA! television program. Building on the momentum of the Super Bowl ad, Kia was the presenting sponsor of the Kia Motors Presents YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE!: THERE’S A PARTY IN MY CITY! tour, which ran from August December.

    In 2010, KMA celebrated the award-winning (see accolades section) original Kia Soul Hamster ad spot by bringing back the loveable Hamsters in “Hamstars,” a spot featuring the song “This or That” that was first seen in movie theaters nationwide before airing on major networks. KMA also allowed consumers to show “how they roll” through Soul-themed user generated creative videos as part of the “Who’s Next” Internet talent contest. The contest generated more than 1,000 submissions and ran through end of September with “The Receptionist” entry selected by celebrity YouTube judges as the winner. In 2011, KMA will continue with innovative initiatives in both the digital and mobile spaces.

    KMA also renewed its multi-year NBA league sponsorship in 2010 and marked its fourth year as the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA. KMA continues partnerships with 13 NBA teams for the 2010-2011 season for individual marketing and community relations efforts, and the 2011 Optima is currently the “Official Vehicle of the NBA.” Supporting local communities through programs that promote youth education and benefit residents is a priority for KMA and efforts will continue in 2011.

    As part of KMA’s strategic marketing plan, the company announced two major sports marketing partnerships in the U.S. with Michelle Wie and the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) in early 2010. As official golf ambassador and spokesperson for Kia Motors, Michelle Wie participated in the inaugural Kia Classic golf tournament in March in La Costa, California.

    Going on its fourth year as Exclusive Automotive Partner of the Vans Warped Tour, a national summer music festival that traveled to 42 cities nationwide, KMA became fully integrated with the Tour’s online advertisements, on-site vehicle displays, activities and two consumer sweepstakes to drive traffic to all elements of the campaign to successfully reach key youthful audiences.

  • Motorsports:

  • KMA and racing partner Kinetic Motorsports campaigned two Forte Koups in the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge as part of Kia’s first-ever U.S. motorsports program, securing a fifth place finish in the final manufacturer standings and finishing ahead of established racing nameplates such as MINI, Porsche, Chevrolet and Acura. Following the success of its first road racing season in the U.S., including six top 10 finishes in what was considered a “development year,” KMA confirmed at the 2010 SEMA Show that it would return for its sophomore season in the series and be ready to compete for podium spots.

  • Accolades During 2010:
    • 2010 Soul named “Small Car of the Year” by FAMA Magazine
    • 2010 Soul named “Best Hatchback of 2010” by
    • 2010 Soul named to “2010 Top Cars for Families” list by
    • 2010 Soul named one of “The Best Family Cars for 2010” by and Parents Magazine
    • 2010 Soul named to “2010 Top 10 Back-to-School Cars” list by Kelley Blue Book’s
    • 2010 Soul named one of AAA’s “Top Vehicle Picks for Dog Owners”
    • 2010 Soul named one of “Top 10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000” by Kelley Blue Book’s
    • Soul “Hamsters” commercial named “Automotive Ad of the Year” at Nielsen Automotive Advertising Awards
    • 2010 Soul+ named “Best New Car for Your Teen” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
    • 2010 Soul and Sedona named “Top Recommended” vehicles for 2010 by
    • 2010 Sedona named to’s “Top 10 Best Dark-Horse Cars of 2010” list
    • Soul “Hamsters” commercial honored with 2010 Silver EFFIE Award
    • Soul “This or That” commercial named “Top Spot of the Year” by
    • 2010 Forte named to “Best New Cars of 2010” list
    • 2010 Forte Koup selected to “Top 10 Cars for 2010” list by
    • 2010 Forte given Consumers’ Top Rated Vehicle award
    • 2010 Forte named to MSN Autos’ “Top 10 Cars Under $15,000” list
    • 2010 Forte awarded 2010 “Top Safety Pick” by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
    • 2010 Rio and Rondo named 2010 Consumer Guide Automotive “Recommended Vehicles”
    • 2011 Sorento awarded 2010 “Top Safety Pick” by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
    • 2011 Sportage receives best-in-class residual rating by Automotive Lease Guide
    • 2011 Sportage awarded 2010 “Top Safety Pick” by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
    • 2011 Sportage named “Best Crossover” by Ruedas ESPN
    • 2011 Optima receives record residual value increase from Automotive Lease Guide
    • 2011 Optima and Sorento named Consumer Guide Automotive “Best Buys”
    • 2011 Optima named 2010 “Top Safety Pick” by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
    • topped J.D. Power and Associates’ ranking as highest among automotive manufacturer Websites for usefulness in new-vehicle shopping
    • 2009 Borrego given “Best Bet” distinction by The Car Book 2010

    2011 Kia Motors America Product Line

    Kia’s model year 2011 vehicle line includes the Sorento CUV, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, Rio sub-compact sedan, Rio5 sub-compact hatchback and Sedona minivan.

    About Kia Motors America

    Kia Motors America (KMA) 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 730 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the “Official Automotive Partner of the NBA.” In 2010, KMA recorded its best-ever U.S. sales and 16th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, safety features and new technologies.

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

    1 Source: ALG Nov.-Dec.2010 Edition; 2010 MY 36-month residual.
    * Kia vehicles assembled at the Kia U.S. plant are assembled from U.S. and globally-sourced parts.

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