Immingham-import Kia clocks up one millionth sale
Paul Philpott, president and chief executive of Kia UK, celebrates the milestone.
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 14 Jan 2019
Kia, the car brand imported exclusively into Port of Immingham, has hit the one million sales mark in the UK.
It comes less than 30 years after the first Kia Pride was bought by a British motorist.
The South Korean badge was first seen on British roads in 1991, with 1,786 cars sold that year.
Last year a record 95,764 cars were snapped up on forecourts nationwide, nearly double that of the entire first decade.
It took it to 998,069, with the milestone passing in the first fortnight of 2019 - with a Sportage GT-Line for a Scottish customer.
The recent massive growth has been handled by the dedicated Stallingborough base on Kiln Lane, where pre-delivery inspections and accessory fitting takes place on every imported vehicle.
The £20 million investment was opened in January 2016 to support anticipated growth, under a long term agreement with automotive specialist Paragon, which prompted the complete transformation and huge expansion of facilities close to the port.
More than 100 jobs were created with scores more secured as they moved from a previous location in North Killingholme to the 88 acre site.
Dr Fergus Duncan has become the proud owner of a blue Sportage GT-Line model delivered by Kia dealer Flear and Thompson of Dunfermline.
Scott Buchanan, dealer principal, with Dr Fergus Duncan in Dunfermaline.
Paul Philpott, president and chief executive of Kia UK, said: “This is a remarkable milestone and all of us at Kia are extremely proud to have reached this momentous moment inside three decades.
“The Kia brand started in the UK with sensible, budget-focused vehicles but during the last decade in particular our customer-base has grown on the back of outstanding design, unmatchable quality and the reassurance of our industry-leading seven year warranty.
“I don’t know just when we will reach the two million mark, but we are all looking forward to the journey to that point and it will be an exciting ride that I am sure will see the nature of the motoring world change quite considerably.”
Mr Philpott announced the landmark was about to be reached during Kia’s National Dealer Conference in Liverpool – the brand’s biggest-ever event with more than 850 delegates from the 192-strong dealer network attending.
Kia’s biggest selling car in that total is Sportage with 241,912 shifted since launch in 1995. Picanto ranks second with 191,926 sold since 2004 and Cee’d has sold 138,253 since its launch in 2007.