Kia Motor Corporation, South Korea

Kia Motor Corporation, South Korea

Kia Motor Corporation



December 1944; 72 years ago

Seoul, South Korea


Kia is a multinational vehicle manufacturer, with its headquarter at Seoul, South Korea. The company was established in December 1944 as Kyungsung Precision Industry. It is the second-largest automobile maker in the country, after Hyundai Motor Company. Kia sold of over 1.4 million vehicles in 2010. The company revenue since 2013 was 46.9 billion US$, company total assets were 35.6billion US$ (2013).



1944-1980s :

Kia was founded in December 1944 as Kyungsung Precision Industry, a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts, eventually producing Korea's first domestic bicycle, the Samchully, in 1951. In 1952, the company changed its name to Kia Industries,and built Honda-licensed small motorcycles (starting in 1957), Mazda-licensed trucks (1962) and cars (1974).

The company opened its first integrated automotive assembly plant in 1973, the Sohari Plant. Kia built the small Brisa range of cars until 1981,Kia rounded out its passenger car lineup with two other foreign models assembled under license: the Fiat 132 and the Peugeot 604. when production came to an end after the new military dictator Chun Doo-hwan enforced industry consolidation. Kia had to give up passenger cars and focus entirely on light trucks.

Starting in 1986 Kia rejoined the automobile industry in partnership with Ford. Kia produced many Mazda-derived vehicles for both domestic sales in South Korea and for export into other countries. These models included the Kia Pride, based on the Mazda 121, and the Avella, sold in North America and Australasia as the Ford Festiva and Ford Aspire.


1990-2000s :

In 1992, Kia Motors America was incorporated in the United States. The first Kia-branded vehicles in the United States were sold from four dealerships in Portland, Oregon in February 1994. Kia expanded one region at a time. Dealers in 1994 sold thea Sephia, followed by Sportage in USA.  Over one hundred Kia dealerships existed across thirty states by 1995, selling a record 24,740 automobiles.

In 1998 reached an agreement with Hyundai Motor Company to diversify by exchanging ownership between both companies. Hyundai Motor Company acquired 51% of the company, outbidding Ford Motor Company which had owned an interest in Kia Motors since 1986.After subsequent divestments,Hyundai Motor Company owns about one third of Kia Motor Corporation. While Hyundai Motor Company remains Kia's largest stakeholder, Kia Motor Company also retains ownership in some 22 different Hyundai Motor Company subsidiaries.

Since 2005, Kia has focused on the European market and has identified design as its "core future growth engine"—leading to the hiring of Peter Schreyer in 2006  a new corporate grille known as the 'Tiger Nose' created. Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia opened in February 2010, and Kia recorded its 15th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share. In 2013, Kia cars have won the award of International Car of the Year.

In August 2014, the company received international attention when Pope Francis of the Catholic Church rode in one of their compact cars, the Kia Soul, during a five-day visit to South Korea. The Kia Soul drew bigger attention than two other vehicles used by the Pope, their Kia Carnival and Hyundai's Santa Fe, because it appeared in the high-profile welcoming ceremony.

In 2016, Kia Motors model reliability was ranked first in the United States by J.D. Power and Associates, becoming the first non-luxury automaker since 1989 to top that list.


Affiliations and Subsidiaries

  1. Hyundai Motor Company
  2. Kia Motors Corporation
  3. Kia Motors America
  4. Kia Motors Europe
  5. Kia Motors Mexico
  6. Kia Defense



Logo and Brand

It was established before Hyundai. The name “Kia” derives from the Sino-Korean language which is roughly translated into English as “Rising out of Asia”. Before manufacturing automobiles, Kia was a famous motorcycle and bicycle manufacturer in South Korea.

Popular Kia Models

Passenger cars :

  • Forte Koup
  • Morning/Picanto
  • Cadenza/K7
  • Opirus/Amanti
  • Optima/Magentis
  • Rio/Rio5/Pride
  • Soul
  • Forte/Cerato
  • Rino
  • Venga
  • K9


VANs & SUVs :



List of few top most popular Kia models on JCT :

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