While year on year registrations for petrol and diesel cars have fallen drastically, we reported earlier this month that the local electric vehicle market has enjoyed a massive year on year increase of close to 300% here in the UK. Overall, it's no surprise that most auto markets suffered in the first quarter of 2020. Despite the launch of the new license plates, the disruptions caused by the spread of coronavirus has made it difficult for dealers to get anywhere ear their targets. WhichEV looks at Kia's results in detail.
The latest data shows that Kia’s European electric and hybrid cars sales increased by almost 21% in the first quarter of 2020. According to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) a total of 21,340 electrified Kia models (hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles) were registered in the first three months of the year, that is 15% of total electrified sales in Europe. Of the electrified vehicles sold in 2020, an impressive 22% were battery electric vehicles.
Models like the Soul EV (pictured) and the popular e-Niro are generating a lot of interest. The e-Niro in particular offers a range of up to 382 miles alongside a 0-60 acceleration of 7.5 seconds, yet is available on a two year lease from only £279 with a BiK of 0% for business users. Kia also includes a seven year/100,000 mile manufacturer warranty, which is going to give new EV users peace of mind.
The South Korean manufacturer’s total European sales declined slightly to 113,026 in the first quarter of 2020 – representing a 14.5% drop compared to last year’s first quarter. That figure is likely to feel tolerable to Kia's management, given the overall downturn of more than 26% in new car sales across the EU, EFTA and UK.
As a result, Kia’s European market share grew up to a record 3.7%. Moreover, Kia’s battery electric vehicles, the e-Niro and the Soul EV, accounted for 32% of all of its electrified vehicle sales, up from 22% in 2019. Kia also made headlines earlier this year when its Soul EV won in the ‘World Urban Car’ category of the 2020 World Car of the Year Awards.
Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, commented, “The first three months of 2020 have been challenging for the whole industry due to social distancing and lockdown measures adopted across many European markets. However, we have seen growing sales for Kia’s range of hybrid and electric cars – every electrified model line we sell in Europe has seen sales growth this quarter.”
It will be interesting to see whether Kia focuses even more of its production on plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles as both grew in popularity during the toughest of times. Electrified models now account for almost a fifth of all Kia sales in Europe.