Kia global sales rise 12% to 768,251 units in Q1 2023, India share 10%

Double-digit growth in major global markets with a virtuous cycle of increased available inventory due to improved supply leads to increased sales. Kia India sees 24% growth with 74,735 units in January-March 2023.

By Ajit Dalvi calendar 27 Apr 2023 Views icon6380 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Kia global sales rise 12% to 768,251 units in Q1 2023, India share 10%

Kia Corporation has announced global sales of 768,251 units in the 2023 first-quarter (January-March 2023), up 12% year on year (Q1 2022: 685,738 units). Quarterly revenue was KRW 23.69 trillion with an operating profit of KRW 2.87 trillion, an increase of 29.1% and 78.9% respectively. Kia also recorded a net profit of KRW 2.12 trillion, an increase of 105.3% YoY.  

Profitability indicators such as revenue and operating profit reached a record high on a quarterly basis, breaking the record for the second consecutive quarter following the fourth quarter of 2022. The company also recorded an operating profit margin of 12.1%, one of the highest levels among global automotive OEMs.

Sales outside of Korea achieved double-digit growth in major markets with a virtuous cycle of increased available inventory due to improved supply leading to increased sales. According to Kia, “Especially strong sales centered on the company’s key RV models in the U.S. market, increased volume due to the conversion to three shifts in Indian plants, and the release of new models, including the Sportage SUV and Carens, a strategic model for the Indian market.”

Kia India sees 24% growth, contributes 10% to global sales

Sales outside of Korea stood at 626,511 units, a 11.1% increase YoY, with sales in Korea at 141,740 units, a 16.5% increase. A key contributor to the Korean carmaker’s global numbers is its Indian operation.

Kia India sold a total of 74,735 units in Q1 CY2023, up 24.42% (Q1 CY2022: 60,062 units), and in the process contributed 9.72% to Kia’s global sales in the first quarter of the current calendar year. The top three Kia India models in the January-March 2023 period were the Sonet compact SUV (27,774 units), midsized Seltos SUV (25,036 units) and the Carens MPV (20,250 units), which account for 98% of total sales in Q1 2023. All three models are part of India’s Top 30 Utility Vehicles in the recently ended FY2023, ranked eighth, ninth and eleventh. The Kia Caren’s strong performance stands out because it was launched just 14 months ago. FY2023 saw Kia India record its best-ever fiscal with sales of 269,229 units, which constitutes 44% YoY growth (FY2022: 186,787 units).

Strong sales of electrified models

In the first quarter of 2023, Kia recorded retail sales of 133,000 electrified vehicles, which include hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric models. This represents a 21.1 percent increase from a year earlier as well as a 2.3 percent point increase to 18.1% of the electrified model sales out of the company’s total sales.

Electrified models have been a major driving force in Kia’s vehicle sales. In Western European countries, the sales proportion of electrified models accounted for 36% of quarterly vehicle sales, 32% and 14% for Korea and the US respectively.

Future outlook

As regards the outlook for the first half of 2023, the company states that “although uncertainties such as the trend of high interest rates, inflation, and geopolitical tensions remain considerable, Kia will continue to expand its profits due to strong sales delivered by the peak sales season, continued strong demand, improved sales mix centered on higher-margin SUVs, and the successful launch of the company’s flagship electric SUV EV9.”

As the second quarter represents the peak period of the annual automotive sales cycle, Kia plans to  quickly maximise production and sales to respond to high global customer demands and further enhance sales of electrified models and higher-margin SUV models to strengthen profitability.

Kia plans to build on the EV sales momentum through the launch of the EV9, Kia’s all-electric large SUV, in Korea in the first half of 2023, followed by other markets, including Europe and the U.S.

In Europe and India, Kia will also focus on expanding sales of its higher-margin SUV models, such as the Sportage and Seltos SUV, while also expanding the sales of its electric vehicles by sequentially introducing key models, such as the EV6 GT, EV6, and EV5, a strategic model for China, to each market.

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