Kia has also made a bold prediction for 2021.
Automakers are starting to release their Q4 2020 sales figures, and despite the pandemic causing so much disruption around the world, some car companies miraculously achieved record sales. Thanks to popular models like the Q3 and e-tron, Audi achieved its best-ever Q4 sales in the company's history, which is an impressive achievement. Now, Kia has announced its Q4 2020 sales, ending the year with a five percent year-on-year rise in quarterly revenue to KRW 16.91 trillion ($15.2 billion).
Kia's fourth-quarter operating profit more than doubled from a year earlier to KRW 1.28 trillion ($1.1 billion), while net profit also increased to KRW 976.8 billion ($881 million), up by 182 percent compared to the same period last year. Between October and December 2020, Kia sold 742,695 cars worldwide, a slight decrease from 742,733 units compared to the same period last year.
In Korea, sales decreased by 5.2 percent to 137,389 units during this period, while sales outside the company's home market increased by 1.2 percent to 605,306 units thanks to a strong recovery in the US and significant growth in India.
Kia attributes its strong performance during Q4 2020 to strong sales of profitable SUVs like the Telluride, Seltos, and Sorento, as well as the Carnival minivan. Sales of Kia's SUVs and minivans accounted for 58.7 percent of the company's total sales volume, which was the highest share yet and a clear sign that demand for SUVs is showing no signs of slowing down. In 2020, Kia's revenue increased by 1.8 percent to KRW 59.17 trillion ($53 billion), while operating profit increased by 2.8 percent to KRW 2.1 trillion ($1.8 billion). Net profit, on the other hand, decreased by 17.7 percent down to KRW 1.5 trillion ($1.3 billion).
Compared to 2019, Kia's global sales volume decreased by 7.6 percent to 2.61 million units in 2020, with 552,400 units sold in Korea and 2.05 million across the rest of the world.
Looking ahead, 2021 will be a pivotal year for Kia. The Korean automaker is confident it can increase global sales by 12.1 percent to 2.92 million units. In Korea, Kia aims to sell 535,000 units in 2021 and 2.39 million units outside its home country. That sounds ambitious, but Kia will soon expand its EV lineup with the launch of its first-ever dedicated electric car underpinned by Hyundai Motor Group's Electric-Global Modular Platform. Kia's first all-new EV will debut in the first quarter of this year, which will be one of seven new electric cars the Korean automaker will launch by 2027.