Kia, with one of the U.S. auto industry's leanest supplies of new vehicles, racked up June sales of 65,142, a drop of 4.9 percent, meaning the automaker gained share in a market on track to fare far worse to close out the second quarter and first half. June was the fourth month in a row that Kia volume declined on a year-over-year basis, but it represented the smallest decline over the period after double-digit declines in March, April and May.
Four of Kia's core light trucks and utilities — the Sportage, Sorento, Telluride and the Carnival "multipurpose vehicle" — all posted year-over-year gains last month, offsetting a broad decline in car deliveries.
Eric Watson, vice president of sales operations, says Kia's portfolio of crossovers and electrified vehicles is "well balanced" and is helping keep the brand competitive, especially as consumers seek more fuel-efficient options amid high fuel prices.
Notable nameplates (June): K5/Optima, down 31%; Sportage, up 20%; Sorento, up 9.8%; Telluride, up 21%; Carnival, up 4.1%; Niro, off 35%; Soul, down 30%
Incentives: $650 in the second quarter, down 75 percent, according to TrueCar
Average transaction price: $35,222 in the second quarter, up 18 percent, according to TrueCar
Fleet mix: 3,300 vehicles shipped in June, or 5 percent of all volume
Inventory: Just over 7,000 vehicles at dealerships at the end of June
Quote: "The ongoing popularity of the EV6 and strong initial sales performance of the all-new Sportage SUV continue to push the brand on its upward trajectory," Watson said. "We are confident that Kia will continue to outpace the industry well into the third quarter and through the rest of the year."
Did you know? June marked the third consecutive month of more than 10,000 sales of the redesigned Sportage compact crossover, which helped push Kia's first-half light-truck mix to 60 percent, according to the Automotive News Data Center. The latest Sportage is available with gasoline and hybrid powertrains, and a plug-in variant will go on sale in coming months.