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Kia’s eco-friendly Niro hits 1 million units sold

By Moon Joon-hyun

Published : Feb. 25, 2024 - 15:12

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The hybrid model of Kia's Niro crossover sport utility vehicle (Kia) The hybrid model of Kia's Niro crossover sport utility vehicle (Kia)

Kia's Niro, an eco-friendly sports utility vehicle lineup featuring exclusively green powertrains, has reached a milestone by surpassing 1 million global sales in eight years after its launch, primarily fueled by the popularity of its hybrid model.

According to Kia on Sunday, the Niro tallied 1,082,822 units in global sales by January this year, with a breakdown showing 1,241 units sold in its home market and exports exceeding 10,000 units in January alone.

Initially unveiled as a hybrid vehicle in 2016, the Niro broadened its eco-conscious offerings with a plug-in hybrid variant in 2017 and an all-electric model in 2018. The lineup recorded over 44,000 units in its first year, doubled to over 100,000 annual sales the following year, and after a 2019 facelift, sales soared to 130,000 units annually.

While the breakdown of sales among the three powertrain options remains unspecified, in the Korean market, the hybrid model consistently sold 20,000 units annually, totaling 140,181 units by July 2023 and becoming the country's second most popular hybrid after Grandeur Hybrid.

Year after year, the Niro has seen sales increases for five straight years. The 2022 launch of the second-generation Niro, featuring enhanced fuel efficiency and sustainable materials, attracted over 16,000 pre-orders on its debut day, leading to sales of 169,992 units for the year, with 23,475 in Korea and 145,617 abroad.

The Niro has enjoyed greater success internationally, particularly in Europe, where it accounted for more than half of its outside sales, totaling 466,112 units.

In 2022, Kia also introduced the Niro Plus, its first foray into purpose-built vehicles, based on the electric Niro. This variant, designed for commercial use like autonomous delivery and ride-sharing, features an expanded wheelbase and optimized interior to meet the growing demand for versatile, environmentally friendly transport solutions.