Less than 30 years since Kia sold its first car in the UK the Korean manufacturer has topped the one million mark.

It was 1991 when the brand was first launched when a Kia Pride hit the roads and in that first year a total of 1,768 were brought to British motorists.

Last year the number of Prides almost reached the million mark around the world and coincidentally the millionth Kia came to the UK.

The lucky motorist was a Scottish doctor who bought a blue Sportage GT-Line model from a Dunfermline garage.

Paul Philpott, UK Kia President and Chief Executive said: “This is a remarkable milestone and we are proud to have reached this moment inside three decades.

“Kia started in the UK with sensible, budget-focused vehicles but during the last decade our customer-base has grown on the back of outstanding design, unmatchable quality and the reassurance of our industry-leading seven year warranty.

“I don’t know when we will reach the two million mark, but we are all looking forward to the journey.”

Last year the company hit another record sales volume of 95,764 bringing its overall total since that first Pride to 998,069.

In the marque’s first decade in the UK around 50,000 cars were sold. After 20 years Kia had delivered 372,000 cars to UK customers.

The sales-pace accelerated after the opening of the company’s plant in Slovakia in 2006 and during the last eight years around 626,000 cars have come to the UK.Kia’s biggest selling car in that total is Sportage with 241,912 sold since 1995. Picanto ranks second with 191,926 sold since 2004 and cee’d has sold 138,253 since its launch in 2007.

As well as the UK success story things are pretty rosy on the continent as well. Kia achieved record European sales (494,304 units) and its tenth consecutive year of growth in Europe in 2018 which represents a 4.7% year-on-year increase for the Korean car manufacturer, pushing the brand’s European market share to an all-time high of 3.2%. In the last decade, Kia’s European sales have more than doubled – in 2008 the brand sold 238,643 units and accounted for 1.6% of all registrations across the continent.

Kia largest European sales market, the UK, contributed another national record amount of sales, posting 95,764 units sold in 2018, accounting for almost 20% (19.2%) of all European sales.

The launch of a comprehensive range of crossovers and electrified powertrains in the last two years has added further momentum to Kia’s growth, despite challenging market conditions.

Kia is the only car brand to have enjoyed European sales growth in each year over the last decade due to quality, design and character of their growing vehicle line-up. Their market share has doubled since 2008.One of the great successes is that buyers are drawn to Kia’s seven year, 100,000 mile warranty, which to this day remains unrivalled across the car industry.

This year will see the introduction of a series of new Kia mild-hybrid, hybrid and plug-in hybrid models, as well as the launch of the new all-electric Soul. And this has started with a bang as sales of the new Ceed GT, Ceed GT Line, and ProCeed began this month, and will strengthen the Ceed’s position in the segment and as the brand’s second best-selling model in Europe, after the Sportage.

As you would expect here you have three new models which have joined the class menu which is Kia.

The all-new Kia Ceed GT (pictured) is more accomplished and fun-to-drive than ever and it picks up where its predecessors left off, with an assured, engaging drive and a powerful 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, as well as a comprehensive range of comfort, safety and convenience technologies.

The Ceed GT-Line takes design cues from the higher-powered GT offering a high level of versatility, turbocharged engines and engaging handling, topped with a sporty new look inside and out.

The Kia Ceed ‘GT-Line’ is available with a choice of powertrains: Kia's 118bhp 1.0-litre and 138bhp 1.4-litre T-GDi (Turbocharged Gasoline Direct injection) engines, or Kia's 134bhp 1.6-litre Smartstream Common-Rail Direct injection diesel engine. The downsized range of powertrains contribute to the car's agile handling characteristics. An even higher specification Ceed ‘GT-Line S’ model features the 138bhp 1.4-litre T-GDi powerplant paired exclusively to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The Kia Ceed GT will be available in the UK with a choice of four paint finishes, with its own unique 18-inch alloy wheel design. It is already in production at Kia's Zilina production facility in Slovakia, alongside the Ceed, ProCeed and Ceed Sportswagon.

The Kia Ceed ‘GT’ is paired with a six-speed manual transmission as standard. With a top speed of 143mph, acceleration to 62mph is completed in just 7.2 seconds, while CO2 emissions of 155g/km (NEDC 2.0) result in a combined WLTP fuel economy figure of 38.2mpg.The standard 8.0-inch 'floating' touchscreen satellite navigation system features Kia Connected Services powered by TomTom®. The system enables full smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay™ (for iPhone 5 and onwards) and Android Auto™ (for Android phones running 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher). Standard technologies include full Bluetooth® smartphone integration, automatic lights, keyless entry and heated front seats.

In addition to the car's six standard airbags, advanced driver assistance technologies enhance occupant protection, using active safety systems to mitigate the risk of collisions. Standard safety technologies include High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Lane Keeping Assist with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist - City. Additional technologies include Smart Parking Assist and pedestrian recognition for the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist system. Every Ceed is equipped as standard with Kia's Vehicle Stability Management which ensures stability when braking and cornering by controlling the car's Electronic Stability Control if it detects a loss of traction.

GT-Line models are available with a choice of turbocharged engines from the conventional Ceed model range. These include Kia's lightweight three-cylinder 118bhp 1.0-litre T-GDi engine, producing 118bhp and 172Nm of torque. The 1.4-litre 'Kappa' T-GDi is also available, with power and torque outputs of 138bhp and 242Nm, respectively. The Kia Ceed ‘GT-Line’ is also available with Kia's all-new 'Smartstream' 1.6-litre CRDi diesel engine with 134bhp. Every engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission, while 1.4-litre T-GDi engines are available with Kia's seven-speed dual-clutch auto transmission.

The Kia Ceed ‘GT-Line’ has been engineered exclusively for European roads, with European buyers in mind - offering an assured ride and engaging handling and a fully independent suspension system as standard, maximising agility and comfort. The ride has been developed on Europe's wide variety of road surfaces, remaining comfortable while giving drivers the confidence of tighter body control under cornering and stability at higher speeds.

At Kia there are a range of fantastic offers available for customers looking to buy a new car in 2019. For customers looking to purchase an SUV in the New Year, selected models from the SUV range come with three free services when bought in January and registered before March 31. From the self-charging hybrid Niro, Niro Plug-in Hybrid, new Sportage through to the Stonic and Sorento there’s an SUV to suit all sizes and budgets.

The first quarter of 2019 sees a range of finance offers, with an attractive 2.9 per cent APR available on the New Sportage and All-New Ceed including the 201bhp Ceed GT as well as the newly launched Ceed GT-Line models. The rest of the Kia range is available with 5.9 per cent APR paired with low monthly payments alongside generous deposit contribution levels on PCP contracts available for most models including the Kia Stinger.

The Kia scrappage scheme continues and is available with 5.9 per cent APR finance but is in lieu of all other offers.

The award-winning Stinger, Kia’s ground-breaking gran turismo, is available from just £29,995. Finance options are available with up to £2,500 contribution towards PCP.