VIENNA – Kia Motors Corp. is taking over distribution for its vehicles in Russia under its wholly owned subsidiary, Kia Motors Rus.

Previously, Kia vehicles were sold in Russia by two companies.

Sokia, established in 2005, sold both imported Kia models and those made locally at OAO IzhAvto. Both IzhAvto and Sokia were majority owned by the SOK Group, but Kia purchased the Sokia organization earlier this year.

OOO Avtotormarket, a subsidiary of assembler ZAO Avtotor, sold vehicles assembled by Avtotor, as well as some imports. Avtotormarket’s sales agreement with Kia expired at the end of February.

Altogether 88,152 Kia vehicles were delivered in Russia in 2008, up12.1% from 2007.

Through February, 8,311 Kia vehicles were sold in Russia this year, down 37.2% from like-2008. That was enough to secure the No.9 position in the market, with a 3.3% share.