Things are looking very good for Kia Motors America. The Korean company recently named Peter Butterfield to the position of executive vice president of sales, marketing and fixed operations. He most recently was with Lincoln Mercury and comes to Kia as it is experiencing dramatic success in what is a down market.

Kia Motors America has had the most success this year percentage-wise among the Korean import companies. Its sales are 38% ahead of last year’s pace and will set a new sales record. Buoyed by a strategy that saw the launch of the Sedona minivan, the Rio Cinco wagon and a V-6 Optima sedan, the Korean company is showing no signs of faltering.

“We expected things to soften a bit, but with our product lineup becoming a bit broader, we’re in a pretty good position,” explains Geno Effler, Kia’s public relations director.

He cites the improved quality in the products that are surprising the media and the public. The company isn’t focusing on price anymore, even though its vehicles are some of the least expensive in the market. Kia, instead, is marketing the virtues and the value its products bring to the market. “Of course, the number one reason people consider Kia when buying a car is the 10-year warranty,” Mr. Effler acknowledges.

Now that the quality problems appear to be fixed and sales are increasing, Kia can begin focusing on the dealer network. Dealers will have to begin expanding their showrooms so they can handle the new product.

The expanded and improved product is also bringing better quality customers into the showroom. And that means more profit for the dealer. The dealers still are concerned, though, that Kia will be able to continue to improve the product.

For more on the new Kia Sedonaclick here.