Seoul, South Korea – Kia Motors has exported its ten millionth vehicle, an Optima sedan shipped to the United States from Kia’s main shipping hub in Korea.
The company’s very first automotive export was in 1975, when it shipped a small quantity of Kia Brisa pickup trucks to Qatar. It reached its cumulative five millionth export in March 2005, which took 30 years to achieve, but reached the next five million exports in only six years.
“Today’s accomplishment would not have been possible without our loyal customers and hard-working Kia employees around the world,” said vice-chairman and CEO Hyoung-Keun Lee at a ceremony to mark the event. “Kia Motors vows to dedicate ourselves to the sustainable development of the global economy and the local communities in which we serve.”
Kia’s market has also grown from ten countries in the 1980s to 156 countries today. Since its first export in 1975, cumulative export units have grown to 4.27 million in North America, 2.45 million in Europe, and 0.88 million in the Asia & Pacific market.
By model, the A-segment Picanto is its most popular export, with 764,453 shipped, followed by the Rio at 747,554 and the Sorento at 656,446 cumulative units.
Kia’s export revenue of US$11.2 billion represents 2.4 per cent of all South Korean exports.