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  Kia Brand Quality Grades and U.S. New Car and Light Vehicle Market Shares

This page gives Kia's Quality Grades for model years 1985-1989, 1990-1994, 1995-1999, 2000-2004, 2005-2006, and 1985-2006, its U.S. new car market shares for calendar years 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, and 2009, its changes in market share from 2000 to 2004 and 2009, its U.S. new light vehicle market shares for calendar years 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, and 2009, and charts plotting the history of Kia's U.S. new car market shares for calendar years 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 and its U.S. new light vehicle market shares for the same years. Quality Grades are a rating of reliability and durability of car and light truck models within the Kia brand and are based on Consumer Reports' worst vehicle tables and its reliability charts/tables.

Kia's Quality Grades

Kia's Quality Grades for model years 1985-1989, 1990-1994, 1995-1999, 2000-2004, 2005-2006, and 1985-2006 are given below.

  Model Years Quality Grade
xxxxx 1985-1989    No Grade
  1990-1994    No Grade
  1995-1999    No Grade 
  2000-2004    No Grade
  2005-2006    Worse
  1985-2006    Poor

Possible Quality Grades, from best to worst, are: Excellent, Better, Good, Middling, Poor, Worse, and Worst. The Kia brand falls in the mid part of the Quality Grade spectrum for the overall model-year period 1985 to 2006. For comparison and contrast, the Quality Grades of the Toyota brand (with the best record) are all Excellent and the Quality Grades of the Chevrolet brand (with the worst record) are all Worst.

The criteria for each grade for each model-year period are given near the bottom of this page.

Kia's U.S. New Car Market Shares

Kia's U.S. new car market shares for calendar years 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, and 2009, together with its changes in market share from 2000 to 2004 and 2009, are given next. Market shares are rounded to the nearest hundredth.

 

Calendar Year


U.S. New Car Market Share
Percent Change in U.S. Share from 1985 Percent Change in U.S. Share from 2000
xxxx 1989 N.A. N.A.
  1994 0.00 N.A.
  1999 0.01 N.A.
  2004 0.02 N.A. 87%
  2009 0.03 N.A. 199%

For comparison and contrast, Toyota's U.S. new car market share grew 65% from 2000 to 2009 and Chevrolet's fell 1% from 2000 to 2009.

A chart of Kia's U.S. new car market shares expressed in percent for calendar years 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 is given below. For comparison and contrast, Toyota's and Chevrolet's U.S. new car market shares are plotted as well. In addition, for all three brands, a trend line – a linear regression of degree one – is included, as a linear regression often imparts additional useful information.

Graph plotting the history of Kia's U.S. New Car Market Shares for Calendar Years 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. As a supplemental aid, a trend line, a linear regression of degree one, is provided.

If Chevrolet lacks a sizable core group within its U.S. customer base who are oblivious to quality, the Kia line may render the Chevrolet brand defunct. However, if international math and science test scores are any guide, such a group likely exists, and Chevrolet, with little change in Quality Grades, should persist for quite a number of years to come.

Kia's U.S. New Light Vehicle Market Shares

Kia's U.S. new light vehicle market shares for calendar years 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, and 2009, together with its changes in market share from 2000 to 2004 and 2009, are given next. Market shares are rounded to the nearest hundredth.

 

Calendar Year

U.S. New Light Vehicle Market Share
Percent Change in U.S. Share from 1985 Percent Change in U.S. Share from 2000
xxxx 1989 N.A. N.A.
  1994 0.00 N.A.
  1999 0.01 N.A.
  2004 0.02 N.A. 73%
  2009 0.03 N.A. 211%

A chart of Kia's U.S. new light vehicle market shares expressed in percent for calendar years 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 is given below. For comparison and contrast, Toyota's and Chevrolet's U.S. new light vehicle market shares are plotted as well. In addition, for all three brands, a trend line – a linear regression of degree one – is included, as a linear regression often imparts additional useful information.

Graph plotting the history of Kia's U.S. New Light Vehicle Market Shares for Calendar Years 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. As a supplemental aid, a trend line, a linear regression of degree one, is provided.

Reference Info

By convention, cars include sedans, coupes, convertibles, hatchbacks, and wagons, light trucks include SUVs (including crossover), minivans, and pickup trucks, and light vehicles include cars and light trucks.

The requirements for a Quality Grade are given below. In listing the requirements, the following abbreviations are used:

CA = a 6-year-old model entry in CR's Cars to Avoid, also termed Vehicles to Avoid
RT = a 6-year-old model entry in CR's Reliability Tables.

Grades for the 5-model-year groups 1985-1989, 1990-1994, 1995-1999, and 2000-2004 are earned as follows:

Excellent: 0 CAs and at least 21 RTs
Better: 0 CAs and 11 to 20 RTs
Good: 0 CAs and 5 to 10 RTs
Middling: 1 or 2 CAs and 10 or more RTs
Poor: 3 to 5 CAs
Worse: 6 to 8 CAs
Worst: 9 or more CAs

Some brands have many more CAs than are required for a grade of Worst. For example, Chevrolet has 59 CAs.

Grades for model years 2005-2006 are earned as follows:

Excellent: 0 CAs and at least 9 RTs
Better: 0 CAs and 5 to 8 RTs
Good: 0 CAs and 3 or 4 RTs
Middling: 1 CA and 4 or more RTs
Poor: 2 CAs
Worse: 3 or 4 CAs
Worst: 5 or more CAs

Some brands have many more CAs than are required for a grade of Worst. For example, Chevrolet has 28 CAs.

Grades for model years 1985-2006 are earned as follows:

Excellent: 0 CAs and at least 21 RTs
Better: 0 CAs and 11 to 20 RTs
Good: 0 CAs and 5 to 10 RTs
Middling: 1 to 8 CAs and 40 or more RTs
Poor: 9 to 26 CAs
Worse: 27 or 39 CAs
Worst: 40 or more CAs

Some brands have many more CAs than are required for a grade of Worst. For example, Chevrolet has 234 CAs.

Data Sources

The data sources for the Quality Grades are the reliability charts and worst vehicle tables of the April issues of Consumer Reports. The data sources for the U.S. new car market shares and new light vehicle market shares are Ward’s Automotive Yearbooks. For more information on data sources, click here.

This page was created in November of 2012.

AutoOnInfo.net: Helping to inform consumers which autos and brands are better than good and worse than bad since 2001.

Additional Resources

More detail on brand Quality Grades is given in the Kindle ebook entitled AutoOnInfo.net's Car Quality Series, Volume 2: Brand Quality for Model Years 1985 to 2006 and Brand Market Shares from 1985 to 2009. Links to the Amazon page offering the book are given below.

Book
Icon for AutoOnInfo.net’s Car Quality Series Volume 2: Brand Quality for Model Years 1985 to 2006 and Effect on Brand Market Shares from 1985 to 2009

AutoOnInfo.net's Car Quality Series, Volume 2: Brand Quality for Model Years 1985 to 2006 and Effect on Brand Market Shares from 1985 to 2009

This volume of AutoOnInfo.net’s car guide series offers consumers and researchers an historical summary of the reliability and durability of car and truck brands and examines how these brands have fared in their U.S. market shares. It uses 6-year-old model entries in Consumer Reports’ Used Car to Avoid – also termed Vehicles to Avoid and Worst Cars, Year by Year – and CR’s reliability charts to ascribe quality grades to automobile brands for model-year groups 1985 to 1989, 1990 to 1994, 1995 to 1999, 2000 to 2004, 2005 to 2006, and 1985 to 2006. In addition to ascribing quality grades to each brand, it provides a chart that plots the number of the brand’s 6-year-old model entries in CR’s vehicles to avoid. To examine the effect that a brand’s reliability and durability has had on sales, two or more charts depicting the brand’s U.S. market shares for calendar years 1985 to 2009 are given. These grades and charts and the author’s comments impart an historical perspective that sheds light on the present condition of surviving vehicle lines and their future prospects, individual and institutional shortcomings, and what effect these may have on the U.S.

Also visit www.CarsOnInfo.net and www.CarQualityInfo.net for more car and truck quality charts, graphs, and information.