Kia PNG Transparent Images

Submitted by on Oct 21, 2021

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Kia Corporation, based in Seoul, South Korea, is a South Korean multinational automotive manufacturer. With sales of over 2.8 million cars in 2019, it is South Korea’s second largest automobile manufacturer behind parent firm Hyundai Motor Company. Hyundai owns a minority share in the Kia Corporation, with a 33.88 percent stake valued at slightly over US$6 billion as of December 2015. Kia is a minority shareholder in over twenty Hyundai companies, with stakes ranging from 4.9 percent to 45.37 percent and a total value of over US$8.3 billion.

Kia began as Kyungsung Precision Industry, a steel tubing and bicycle components maker, in December 1944, finally manufacturing Korea’s first indigenous bicycle, the Samchully, in 1951. Kyungsung Precision Industry was renamed Kia Industries in 1952, and the company went on to produce Honda-licensed compact bikes (beginning in 1957) and Mazda-licensed trucks and automobiles (1962). (1974).

The Sohari Plant, the company’s first integrated vehicle assembly plant, debuted in 1973. Kia produced the tiny Mazda-based Brisa line of vehicles until 1981, when manufacturing being halted due to industry consolidation enforced by new military dictator Chun Doo-hwan. As a result, Kia was compelled to forsake passenger vehicles in favor of light trucks. After the prohibition went into force in 1982 and 1983, Kia manufactured a few hundred additional cars, but no passenger cars in 1984 and 1985.

Kia had rounded up its passenger vehicle portfolio with two more foreign models produced under license before to the forced shutdown in 1981: the Fiat 132 and the Peugeot 604. Importation of these knock-down kits was allowed as long as Kia exported five vehicles for every Fiat or Peugeot imported (Hyundai had to meet the same requirement).

Kia re-entered the automobile business in 1986, with just 26 vehicles produced the first year, followed by nearly 95,000 the following year. Kia manufactured a number of Mazda-based cars for both domestic and international markets in South Korea. The Kia Pride, which was based on the Mazda 121, and the Avella, which were offered in North America and Australasia as the Ford Festiva and Ford Aspire, were two of these vehicles. Kia Motors America was established in the United States in 1992. In 1992, four dealerships in Portland, Oregon, offered the first Kia-branded automobiles in the United States.


Kia has been steadily expanding one region at a time since then. In 1994, dealers started selling the Sephia, and a few years later, the Sportage was added to the range in the United States. By 1995, there were over a hundred Kia dealerships in thirty states, selling a total of 24,740 cars.

During the Asian financial crisis in 1997, Kia entered bankruptcy, and in 1998, it negotiated a deal with Hyundai Motor Company to diversify by trading ownership. Hyundai Motor Firm outbid Ford Motor Company, which had had a stake in Kia Motors since 1986, for 51 percent of the company.

Hyundai Motor Company holds roughly a third of Kia Motor Corporation after successive divestitures. While Hyundai Motor Company continues to be Kia’s major shareholder, Kia Motor Company owns 22 Hyundai Motor Company subsidiaries. Kia has been focusing on the European market since 2005, and has recognized design as a “key future growth engine,” resulting to the employment of Peter Schreyer as chief design officer in 2006, and his subsequent development of the ‘Tiger Nose’ corporate grille.

Kia Motors America broke ground in West Point, Georgia, for Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia in October 2006, marking a $1 billion investment for the business. Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia first opened its doors in February 2010, following Kia’s 15th straight year of growing market share in the United States. When Pope Francis of the Catholic Church travelled in one of their tiny vehicles, the Kia Soul, during a five-day visit to South Korea in August 2014, the firm garnered international notice.

Because it was included in the high-profile greeting ceremony of the Pope’s arrival at Seoul Airport on August 14, the Kia Soul garnered more notice than two other cars used by the Pope, their Kia Carnival and Hyundai’s Santa Fe. J.D. Power & Associates ranked Kia Motors model reliability first in the United States in 2016, making it the first non-luxury carmaker to do so since 1989.

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