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Kia targeting half a million U.S. sales for 2012

by Mark Kleis

The smaller, more "sporty" half of the Hyundai-Kia partnership has big goals for 2012.

Kia has already enjoyed a record year in terms of sales in the U.S., having moved 367,405 cars in the U.S. through September.

The Korean automaker believes that it will continue its sales surge into 2012, upping its pace that is expected to be about 30,000 units shy of 500,000 and breaking the half a million sales mark, according to Kia's top global executive, vice chairman Hank Lee, speaking with Automotive News.

In 2010, Kia moved just 356,268 new cars in the U.S., a number already surpassed in 2011. Kia says that it has been actively cutting low performing dealers, assisting some dealers in moving to better locations and seeking out new dealers or buildings in key markets.

In addition to making changes to and expanding its dealer network, Kia has also revealed a slew of new and heavily redesigned vehicles that will surely attract consumers on their own merit. Between the changes to the dealers and the products they stock, hitting sales goals for 2012 should be quite attainable.

So far in 2011, Kia dealers are enjoying a substantial uptick in sales, moving twice (49 now) as many cars per month on average compared to just three years ago.

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