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Kia was one of the few car manufacturers who bucked the downward trend in 2011, increasing sales by 5.4 per cent to top the 25,000 mark for the first time.

But incoming president and chief executive Chongwoo (Charlie) Kim believes the Korean car maker is still a long way short of reaching its full potential in Australia.

Mr Kim, who has spent the past two years working as the co-ordinating director for sales at Kia Motors Australia, believes it can be the fastest-growing brand in the country. And to achieve this he has set the ambitious target of double-figure growth every year under his leadership.

While it may seem unrealistic, especially in a market where sales are expected to level off at around one million a year, Mr Kim said a combination of new models and better supply would enable the target to be reached.

Last year, due to the demand of key models in European markets, Kia Australia was unable to meet demand for many models.

The company will also launch four new models over the next 12 months with the Kia Rio three-door the first of those. Its Australian launchis next week.

Mr Kim said the arrival of the three-door model would further broaden the appeal of its small car that won one of the country’s major Car of the Year awards last year.

It will be followed by a new-generation Cerato and a sportier Cerato Koup, but Mr Kim was keeping the identity of the other new models closer to his chest.

Mr Kim, 48, studied mechanical engineering before joining the Hyundai/Kia Corporation in 1989.

He replaces MK Kim, who has moved to Dubai to take up the position of president and chief executive with Kia’s Middle East and African operations.Source: The West Australian