Middle East accounts for one in six Kia exports

The Korean automaker expects to hit 15 million global exports later this month, 40 years after dispatching its first Brisa shipment to Qatar

A Brisa pickup - the first model Kia exported from South Korea.
A Brisa pickup - the first model Kia exported from South Korea.

Kia Motors announced that it expects to hit 15 million cumulative exports from its South Korea factories later this month – 40 years after its very first export shipment of 10 units of the Brisa pickup truck to Qatar in 1975.

In terms of the regional breakdown of Kia's historical exports, 6.03 million vehicles have been shipped to North America, 3.35 million to Europe, 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.

It has taken Kia only four years and three months to approach 15 million exports, following its 10 million export milestone in March of 2011 – one year and nine months less than it took the company to grow its export volume from 5 million to 10 million vehicles.

Alex Chung, president of Kia MEA, said: “We are immensely proud to say the very first export shipment from South Korea came to our region forty years ago.

“With a total of 2.52 million further vehicles following the very first 10 Kia Brisa pick-up trucks to Qatar, it is testament to the importance of the Middle East and Africa to Kia Motors Corporation.

“With the latest brand new versions of Sorento and Grand Carnival on sale, we are also looking forward to reaching 20 million exports in the next few years," Chung added. 

Kia has expanded annual production capacity in South Korea from 800,000 units in 2000 to 1.71 million units in 2014, with over 70% of domestic production exported to overseas markets.

Kia Motors Corporation was founded in 1944 and is Korea's oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles.

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