Kia recently declared that it expects to exceed this year’s sales target of 2.71 million units.
The company posted better-than-expected sales in the first quarter driven by the United States, Europe and China and a net profit up 26% to 1.2 trillion won ($1.06 billion) for the first three months. Kia said that it expects to launch in September the K3, which is a fully revamped version of its popular compact Forte.
The first quarter sales were brought up by strong overseas sales which offset weakness in the domestic market, but also by the high prices. The utilization rate of global plants reached 107.8% for the three months ended March 31st and global sales increased 12% to 691,691 units. Kia had said it targets to sell 2.71 million units worldwide this year.
The average selling price for exported vehicles was up 4.8% to $13,300 per unit in the first quarter, but domestic ASP fell 0.8% to KRW18.1 million ($16,000) from KRW18.2 million. To address weakening sales, Kia plans to boost the lineup of vehicles to be launched in 2012 in the domestic market, with models such as the K7 large sedan, the K9 flagship large rear-wheel sedan, and the Sorento sport-utility vehicle.