And it expects 2023 to be even better.
Kia America has a lot more to celebrate than the new year, with the local subsidiary announcing 2022 was the strongest sales year in its history.
Last month, the brand reported its strongest November yet, and that pattern continued well into December when it managed to shift an astonishing 60,422 units. This, says Kia, is an increase of 11.2% compared to the previous December record (2016) and, importantly, represents a 25% increase compared to the same period last year.
These impressive figures helped the automaker reach an annual retail sales volume of 654,554 - 1.7% higher than the previous 2021 record. The year-to-date figure stands at 693,549. So, what's behind this incredible success?
That would be the popularity of Kia's strong SUV and crossover lineup, of course. These body styles made up 66.8% of Kia's 2022 sales in the USA, with the new Sportage leading the charge. Last year, a staggering 125,245 examples left showroom floors. The larger Sorento and Telluride also proved popular with consumers, with 86,406 and 99,891 units sold, respectively.
"In 2022, Kia accelerated its momentum to deliver best-ever retail sales, including the best-ever year for Kia SUVs and utilities," remarked Sean Yoon, president and CEO of Kia America.
The more compact Seltos (recently refreshed for 2024) and the Niro failed to reach the figures achieved by their larger siblings. But Kia still managed to sell 45,711 examples of the former and 28,744 of the latter.
Kia unveiled an all-new Niro in 2022 and, like the new Kona, the crossover will be made available as a mild hybrid, PHEV, or fully-electric vehicle. This will certainly bolster the brand's EV sales which have also grown considerably in 2022.
"Customers are taking notice that when it comes to electrification, Kia is a brand to watch as we launched six electrified vehicles in 2022," added Yoon. "Sales of Kia's electrified offerings increased, and three of Kia's SUVs also set annual sales records, offering further proof that we have the right mix of products to sustain this positive momentum long into the future."
The EV6 performed incredibly well, with 20,498 customers signing on the dotted line for Kia's stylish EV. In fact, it sold better than the talented Carnival, which only managed to muster up 19,706 sales.
So, how did the rest of the range fare?
The Kia Stinger, a perennial favorite of ours, was sadly discontinued late last year. 1,000 limited edition models will serve as a goodbye to the nameplate, which was surprisingly popular with American customers in 2022. When you consider the SUV boom, it's surprising to see Kia shift 7,809 examples of a sports sedan with a starting MSRP of $36,590.
The value-driven Forte was also a strong seller (108,424), and the K5 also put on a good showing (66,298). Interestingly, Kia recorded one sale for the discontinued Cadenza.
With the all-electric EV9 SUV waiting patiently in the wings, we anticipate that Kia's sales will only grow from strength to strength. In fact, Hyundai and Kia expect sales to increase by 10% in 2023. The competition will be watching closely.