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Kia sales growth to be sustained
With the new cee'd European seeds

New Kia cee'd: 5-door version, front view.

New cee'd to boost Kia's European sales from this month.

APN,
1st December 2006.

Kia Motors Corporation announced today that its cumulative overseas sales through the first eleven months of 2006 have risen by 2.6% year-on-year to reach 768,510 units, with Europe showing the largest gain at 4.4%.

North American sales have increased by 2.9% while general market sales (includes Central & South America, Asia & Pacific, and Middle East & Africa) have decreased by 1.1% through the month of November.

Kia's overseas retail sales of passenger cars and light trucks in November 2006 recorded 70,118 units, representing a 5.7% year-on-year increase.

New Kia cee'd: dashboard view.

New Kia cee'd: 20 versions with five engine choices.

So far in 2006, Kia’s best selling model in export markets has been the A-segment Picanto with 119,376 units sold, closely followed by the C-segment Cerato (known as ‘Spectra’ in some markets).

Meanwhile, Kia’s overseas sales (first eleven months of 2006) of the Sorento mid-size SUV and Sportage compact SUV reached 116,040 and 96,577 units sold, respectively. The B-segment Rio has also been a steady seller with 95,707 units delivered through the same period. All figures exclude domestic sales and KD (knock down) exports assembled at overseas plants including China

However, Kia expects its European sales to be significantly boosted in the very near future as sales of its first ever car designed and built in Europe – the cee’d 5-door family car – goes on sale this month.

New Kia cee'd: back seat view.

New Kia cee'd: seven different trim fabrics.

Designed especially for European consumers, the all-new Kia cee’d C-segment model (lower medium, compact category) marks a major turning point in Kia’s history. It is the first-ever Kia designed and manufactured in Europe.

The Hyundai-controlled brand claims that the highest standards of engineering have been applied to every aspect of the cee'd exterior, interior, fixtures and fittings.

Kia teams in Germany and Korea have designed the new cee’d to be a genuine rival to the established C-segment class leaders, powering the Korean brand into the main stream of Europe’s most closely fought market sector.

Rising to the challenge of becoming a top global player in the automotive industry, Kia has not only invested to create an all-new factory (at Zilina, in Slovakia) and produce an all-new model, but it is also offering consumers a wider level of choice.

The 3-door cee'd version will join the 5-door version in December 2007.

The 3-door cee'd version will join the 5-door version in December 2007.

Maximum customer choice is one of the core themes behind the introduction of cee’d five-door, which will be available in:

- 20 versions,
- with five engines,
- three trim/equipment levels,
- four interior concepts,
- five interior centre-stack styles,
- seven different trim fabrics,
- 12 exterior colours and
- left- and right-hand drive.

The 4.2-metre long cee’d has an unusually long wheelbase (2,650 mm, which is closer to the lower end of the upper medium D segment category) with ample interior space for the segment.

The range of five engines will include 1.4, 1.6 and 2.0-litre CVVT gasoline engines, plus 1.6 and 2.0-litre VGT diesel engines.

Kia pro_cee’d concept: a pre-view of the coming 3-door cee'd.

Kia pro_cee’d concept: a pre-view of the coming 3-door cee'd.

Another variation, the ‘sporty wagon’ will go on sale in September 2007. The 4470 mm long, 1490 mm high, sporty wagon will be the second model in the new Kia cee’d family of cars. A first in the C-segment, it features a tailgate shaped like an inverted ‘L’ with its hinges set back over the load area so the tailgate rises almost vertically, giving enhanced access to the large-capacity cargo area that has additional storage below the floor.

The third model in the cee’d line-up will be the three-door version which will go on sale in December 2007.

Key attributes which the pro_cee’d concept (pre-production version of the 3-door version) and ‘sporty hatch’ (5-door version) models will have in common include the lowered roof line (down by 25 mm compared to the five-door cee’d) and shallower side windows ringed in chrome trim that create a robustly sporty window graphic.

The short cee’d name is unconventional. The ‘CE’ symbolises that it is made in the European Community and the ‘ED’ indicates this car is a European Design created especially with European consumers in mind. ‘cee’d’ represents even a ‘seed’ promise for abundant growth in Kia sales.

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