Kia announced this past week that it is now the number one brand in the UK, citing data supplied by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Kia’s Sportage is also the second-best-selling vehicle overall, and the Niro line is also a top-ten seller.
Kia UK Limited’s Paul Philpott, President offered this comment: “This is an incredible achievement for Kia. The first quarter we have ever been no.1 in the UK car market. We have perhaps been more fortunate than others with supply, but our Q1 result reflects our best-ever model line-up, including the all-new Sportage and fully-electric EV6. Our success is also as a result of our compelling electrified range, which continues to grow and attract new customers to the brand. I’d like to thank our dealer partners for their continued hard work and support, without whom this exceptional achievement would not have been possible.”
Kia says that its fully-electric cars accounted for 18 percent of total Q1 sales, its highest proportion ever, while Kia’s Eco cars (EV, Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid) represented one in every three cars sold, confirming their continued progress to becoming a leader in electrification. Kia also claims to have ended the quarter as the third best-selling Eco brand overall. The company noted in a press release that this was due in part to a comparatively better battery supply.
Kia’s electrified Niro line maintained its strong demand, ranking as the fourth best-selling Compact SUV and tenth best-selling car of all models with 7,194 sales, YTD. Due to exceptional demand, the fully-electric e-Niro ended the quarter with 1,916 and 3,852 sales respectively.
Hybrids and plug-in hybrids combined are larger in sales in the UK than do BEVS presently. Expect that to change and for BEVs to rise to the forefront soon. Presently, BEVs make up about 16% of the market share, and all hybrids combined make up about 17%.
Tesla is a strong player in the UK market and its Model Y and Model 3 may well take over this market if supply can meet consumer demand. However, being effectively a two-model brand with prices well outside of the affordable range will eventually catch up with Tesla if it doesn't introduce a more affordable model soon.
Notably, Hyundai also has a strong presence in the UK, with its Tucson in fourth place among the top ten most delivered vehicles. Combine Hyundai and Kia under their parent company umbrella, and the pair are now dominating this market.
Image courtesy of Kia UK media support.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin
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