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Kia, GM Report Strong Sales...Elsewhere

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If you didn't laugh years ago when Kia entered the marketplace, you have officially lost your chance: in the face of a tanking global economy, the automaker is reporting an 8.4% jump in sales for calendar year 2008. Pushing that number skyward? Sales in China, which surged a whopping 34.2%. Also up: sales in Kia's home country, Korea, which bounced to 16.2%. The sad trombone sound effect is reserved for Europe and North America, where figures fell 2.3% and 8.6%, respectively.

GM also has something to smile about for 2008, with record sales in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. Totals were led by a staggering 57% spike in northern Africa. Sales were also up in China (6.1%) and along the Pacific rim (2.7%). Like Kia, GM saw its biggest declines in U.S. and European markets, which tumbled 22.7% and 6.5%, respectively.

Clearly, both companies are building cars that people want to buy. If only those people lived in America or Europe.

--Richard Read

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