SEOUL, Dec. 19 (Korea Bizwire) – Kia Motors Corp., South Korea’s No. 2 automaker, saw its sales in Mexico more than double in November despite rising concerns over U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s trade policy, industry data showed Monday.
Kia sold 5,460 vehicles in November, up a whopping 143 percent from the same month a year earlier, according to the data by the Mexican Automotive Industry Association. In the first 11 months of this year, Kia shipped a cumulative 52,082 units, more than five times the 8,906 vehicles sold during the same period last year.
The Sportage SUV was the top-selling brand with sales of 16,909 units in the January-November period, followed by the Rio subcompact sedan with 11,356.
Kia’s sales in Mexico began to outperform the country’s car market since it started operations of its Mexican plant in mid-May this year. Mexico’s car sales rose 18.5 percent on-year this year.
Kia’s share of the Mexican auto market came to 3.7 percent last month, ranking eighth. Nissan Motor Co. of Japan was the market leader with a 25.1 percent share, trailed by GM with 18.9 percent and Volkswagen with 15.9 percent.
Kia is aiming to sell 55,000 vehicles in Mexico this year for a market share of 3.5 percent this year, which the company expects to be within its reach considering the current pace of sales.
The South Korean automaker’s stellar performance comes amid growing worries that Kia may take a hit should the Donald Trump administration start imposing stiff tariffs on Mexican-made cars in line with his election pledge.
Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor Co., Kia’s bigger affiliate and South Korea’s leading carmaker, sold 33,122 units in Mexico in the first 11 months of the year, up 40.5 percent from a year ago, with its market share standing at the 10th largest of 2.3 percent.