The Irvine-based U.S. arm of South Korea’s Kia Motors is aiming for a double-digit percentage rise in sales this year driven by six new autos.
“Double-digit growth is something we’d have to look at,” said Len Hunt, a former Volkswagan AG executive who recently took over day-to-day operations at Kia.
Hunt made the comments to Reuters on Sunday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
First Kia has to reverse a sales slide. In December, Kia’s U.S. sales dropped 6.6%, the third consecutive decline for the automaker. It sold 18,767 vehicles in December.
For the year, Kia sold 275,851 vehicles in the U.S., up 2.5%, for a market share of 1.6%.
Another year of growth in 2006 would extend Kia’s U.S. expansion to a 13th year, Hunt said.
Continued growth at Kia is critical to parent company Hyundai Motor Co.’s goal of becoming one of the top five automakers by the end of the decade.