Kia was the unanimous winner of the Carmaker of the Year Award in 2019 because of the strength of its model line-up, its close relationship with its dealer network, strong new car sales performance in 2018 and profitability of the franchise.
The UK sales growth has been driven by the steady tide of new models arriving at Kia, including the Stonic small SUV and Stinger sports model that have given the company fresh market traction.
They were joined by the Ceed and new Sportage while the award winning Kia e-Niro has raised the stakes, addressing the key issues of cost and range that have put off consumers from buying EVs.
The group turned in a strong performance in 2018, selling 95,764 cars, up 2.7% on the previous year in a UK market down 6.8%. Its market share in 2018 broke through the 4% barrier for the first time
The company has a strong relationship with the 125 dealers in its UK network. Kia was the highest rated car franchise in the UK in the Winter NFDA Dealer Attitude Survey
In the survey dealers answered a series of questions covering a range of business aspects and their impact on the relationship with manufacturers. Kia topped the survey with an overall average score across all questions of 8.8 out of 10 points. This was no one off. Kia has been the highest scoring carmaker for four consecutive issues of the survey.
This is a brand that has been consistently rated the top franchise in the UK by dealers and is a clear winner of the carmaker of the Year in 2019," said the judging panel.
Kia continues to expand, announcing a deal to add storage capacity at its UK import and distribution centre in Stallingborough, North Lincolnshire. Kia has plans to sell 100,000 cars a year by 2020, with over one-million Kia models having been sold in the UK since the brand first started in the UK in 1991.