The landmark car was a Cee’d ‘4’ 1.6 CRDi hatchback purchased by Dale and Amy Pollard, a married couple from Leicester.
Nigel Falkiner, Sandicliffe Leicester’s head of marketing said: ‘We are absolutely delighted that Kia’s 500,000th customer purchased their new car from us here at Sandicliffe. To help Dale and Amy enjoy their car and reduce the cost of motoring further, we have offered them Kia’s Care-3 Service Plan with our compliments.’
Kia is also celebrating a record May for registrations. More than 5,600 Kias were registered – an 8.27 per cent increase on the previous best-ever May in 2012. Total sales for 2013 to date now stand at 30,441 vehicles – a record for the first five months of the year and some 10.6 per cent up from the same time last year. Kia’s year-to-date market share stands at 3.21 per cent.
Paul Philpott, Kia Motors UK’s president and CEO, said: ‘Reaching 500,000 cars in the UK is another important milestone for the Kia brand. Our growth over the last few years has been down to a combination of great new products, changing perceptions of the brand and is testament to the efforts of our growing UK dealer network.
‘We predict that we will achieve one million registrations in the UK before the end of the decade and our long-term ambition is to become a ‘Top five’ volume car brand in the UK.
‘Considering that our year-to-date sales equal our entire annual performance from just five years ago I am confident we will get there.’
In May 2012, Sandicliffe Leicester became one of the first in the UK to have the all-new Kia ‘Red Cube’ design as part of a major overhaul of the premises.
The first Kia launched in the UK was the Pride in 1991 – Kia’s original A-segment car and predecessor to the current Picanto. 1,786 Kia vehicles were registered that year. The 100,000 registration landmark was reached just three years later, in 1994, with the sale of a Rio hatchback and a Sportage crossover was the brand’s 250,000th vehicle sale in 2008.