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Kia has shrugged off the challenge of a contracting new car market to maintain its sales momentum and retain a Top 10 position for September, according to official figures released by VFACTS.

For the second month in a row and the third time for the year Kia has underscored the brand’s growing desirability by claiming a Top 10 laurel with a 2.6 per cent market share.

“It is very pleasing and a clear indication that despite the many challenges facing the automotive industry, Kia continues to perform ahead of the game,” Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow, said.

“There were highlights for the month – Cerato’s continued growth, Carnival’s perennial domination of the people mover segment and a stellar month for Sorento – but there were indications of opportunities in other areas as well.”

Cerato sales, helped by the growing popularity of the 5-door hatch, jumped 145.2 per cent over September last year and maintained an 82 per cent growth rate for the year to date.

Carnival, driven by a pair of new engines, continued its domination of the under $55,000 segment with a 37.8 per cent share of the market while the compact Kia Rondo, winner of the recent Wheels Gold Star Award, is enjoying a renewal of interest with a 164.7 per cent jump on September last year and a 32.7 per cent year to date growth.

However, the star for Kia in September was the lauded Sorento in the Medium SUV segment. With a 6.1 per cent market share in one of the most hotly-contested segments the Sorento enjoyed a 196.5 per cent increase over September 2010 and maintained an impressive 27.5 per cent growth rate in 2011.