Kia has exported its 15 millionth car from South Korea – 40 years after the first shipment of Brisa pick-up trucks.
Or put another way, 15m Kia Optima cars, each measuring 4,845 mm in overall length, would circumvent the earth (40,000 km) 1.8 times when lined up bumper to bumper.
During May 2015, the Rio was the No 1 exported model for Kia with 2.23 million vehicles shipped, while the Sportage SUV, Picanto and Sorento SUV followed with 1.57 million, 1.43 million and 1.08 million units respectively.
Historically, Kia’s global exports work out like this – 6.03 million vehicles have been shipped to North America, 3.35 million to Europe (20% imported to the UK), 2.52 million to the Middle East & Africa, 1.71 million to Central & South America (including the Caribbean) and 1.29 million to Asia Pacific.
Kia vehicles are currently manufactured at four plants in South Korea and 70% of the cars produced are exported.. Kia also has five plants located in the US state of Georgia, Slovakia and China, while Kia’s first manufacturing plant in Mexico is currently under construction and due to start production in mid-2016.