Kia has announced that it sold 152,826 vehicles globally in November, which is 53.2 per cent more than what was achieved in the same month last year. Total sales for the first eleven months of 2009 is up by by 17 per cent year-on-year to 1,489,204 units.

Of this, the Chinese market experienced the highest gain with 221,722 units sold to date, a massive 65.2 per cent increase. Home market Korea, general markets (ASEAN is in this category), and North America also showed cumulative year-on-year sales increases of 26.8 per cent, 14.7 per cent and 9.5 per cent respectively.

Kia’s best selling model in overseas markets for 2009 has been the C-segment Forte with 269,864 units sold. After that comes the Rio, Sportage 4×4, Euro-only C-segment cee’d and the Picanto. Sales of the latter two hatchbacks in Europe have been buoyed by scrappage schemes, where Governments provide cash incentives to encourage the buying of new cars in a sluggish economy. Many were convinced by low prices – after adding the discount to the already modest sticker price of Kias – and a super long warranty (7 years in the UK).

Perhaps the local Kia distributor should have a such a warranty scheme to repair customer confidence and boost brand image/resale values. Hyundai currently boasts Malaysia’s longest warranty at five years or 300,000km.