By on July 26, 2013


Spurred by increased sales in China, Kia’s second quarter profits were up 7.7% from last year, to 1.18 trillion won ($1.06 billion), exceeding analysts expectations slightly. Revenue was up 4.4% to 13.1 trillion won ($1.168 billion).

Sales in China, affected by the territorial island dispute between China and Japan, were up 22% driven by demand for the K3 sedan. Sales in Europe bucked the general trend in the moribund market and were also up slightly, 1.5%, lifted by sales of the Sportage SUV and the Cee’d hatchback. The strengthened South Korean currency, which rose 2.4% against the yen in the quarter, hurt sales in the United States, Kia’s biggest market. Sales in the States fell just barely, 0.2%, compared to an industry average of +8.5%, and that was even after Kia increased spending on incentives by 19% in the quarter.

Sales for the domestic Korean market were down 4% from the same period last year, and were down 3.7% in Latin America at a time when industry sales were up 7.9%. Excluding South Korea and China, sales in Kia’s Asia-Pacific region were down 9.1%.

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18 Comments on “Kia’s Q2 Profits Up To $1.06 Billion On Strong Chinese Performance, Sales Lukewarm Elsewhere...”

  • avatar

    It will be interesting to see how the revised Forte and new Cadenza do in the US.

    • 0 avatar

      Soul too. The 2.0 is getting DI, and the body is changing all around though not by much.

    • 0 avatar

      Despite having one heck of an ownership experience with a first-gen 2010 Forte EX and ultimately dropping it like a sack of ****, I have confidence Kia’s quality has (hopefully) improved. If you’ll recall, the first-gen Forte arrived to signal the start of Kia’s product reniassance. What they NEED to work on is the dealer network.

    • 0 avatar

      The slight decline in Kia sales in the US is due to the Sedona having been canceled (but since brought back) and the lull in sales of the Forte due to the switchover to a new model.

      Also, the Sorento is down a bit as Kia’s GA plant adjusted production allocation to build more of the new Santa Fe Sport (which still doesn’t have enough supply).

      In addition, the work-stoppages in Korea have hurt supply of certain models such as the Sportage.

      The new Forte and the new Soul arriving later should help boost Kia sales (the refreshed Optima really wouldn’t increase sales since production is already maxed out) and we’ll see if the Cadenza can build on the 1k it sold last month.

      Kia really needs a larger 3-row CUV (probably should do a LWB of then next gen Sorento) and a Sedona replacement will help as well.

      A hybrid version of the Cadenza would also be smart as hybrid versions sell well for FWD mid and full-size sedans.

  • avatar

    Are sales in the US down only when measured in won, or are they truly down in a dollars-to-dollars comparison?

  • avatar

    The Cadenza and Optima are fantastic looking, well-equipped cars. I don’t know how reliable their turbos, engines or transmissions are, but I’d easily buy a Hyundai/Kia over a Toyota/Honda/Nissan.

    I look at the features in the Azera/Cadenza such as the waterfall cushions and wonder, why is it the $55,000 cars don’t have stuff like that?

    • 0 avatar

      What are these waterfall cushions that you have mentioned several times? I have looked at the Kia website and they are not mentioned. Heated and ventilated (driver only) seats are listed.
      Even if these are a great feature that others should have it hardly makes it a slam dunk decision for most people since you want to consider many other variables – styling, driving dynamics, fuel economy, price, reliability.

    • 0 avatar

      All I know is of the two people who’ve owned Kia Fortes, 2 out of those 2 people had problems with the seat springs breaking through the fabric – one in the bottom, one in the back. *Hopefully* their quality has improved, as these were first-gen Fortes, but I can’t help but wonder what’s given up to be able tooffer panoramic sunroof, heated (and maybe cooled?) seats and proximity entry/push button start for $26k in an Optima…

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I’m not sure I like the styling of the Cadenza, but the Optima is absolutely beautiful. The facelifted-for-2014 model will be even better. I’m trying to get my mother into an Optima SX at the moment.

      • 0 avatar

        With the facelift, Kia designers have ruined the back end of the Optima by making the taillights look like an amorphous blob (the pre-refresh taillights, otoh, were the best in the segment).

        But Kia went above and beyond with the interior of the refreshed SXL trim for the Optima which looks amazing.

        Didn’t think the interior of the prefresh SXL was worth the premium but the new one seems worth it.

  • avatar
    Nitro Cory

    I think you made an error converting revenue to $.

  • avatar

    So GM made $1.2 billion profit in the quarter and (little) Kia made $1.06 billion? What is the relative CEO pay?

  • avatar

    Well, Kia got two sales from me this year: A new Cadenza in May, and 70 days later, after Cadenza’s unusual and irritating problems made me CRAZY…I traded for a loaded 2014 Sorento SX AWD.

    • 0 avatar

      Can you elaborate on those problems with the Cadenza? It’s on my short list for a new car purchase in 6-8 months.

      • 0 avatar

        Fuel pump failure at 1800 miles, then annoying structural pops, creaks, and rattles arrived around 2200 miles. A regional Kia service director more or less told me that the car structure apparently loosens up and results in headliner and pillar noise when the body flexes. No fix was attempted or offered.

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