Kia Sportage crossover selected as official car of Belgium's defense ministry

BRUSSELS, July 11 (Yonhap) -- The Belgium unit of South Korea's second-largest automaker Kia Motors Corp. said Thursday its Sportage crossover has been chosen as the official car of Belgium's defense ministry.

Kia said it delivered the first vehicle to the defense ministry in a ceremony on Wednesday. It said it plans to deliver 131 other units of the Sportage crossover to the ministry by October.

Kia became the first non-European carmaker to provide vehicles to Belgium's defense ministry.

The defense ministry said Kia Sportage has earned the highest score in terms of price and performance, beating competitors, including Germany's biggest automaker, Volkswagen Group and French automaker Renault SA.

In May, Kia sold 29,449 units in Europe, down 3.6 percent from 30,556 units from a year ago. However, its market share remained unchanged at 2.8 percent, according to the data posted on the website of the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association.

Kia and its bigger sister company Hyundai Motor Co. are the two flagship units of Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-largest carmaker.

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