Kia Motors has its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, and is the second-largest automobile manufacturer in the country. It is just behind the Hyundai Motor Company. Kia Motors is 32.8-percent owned by the Hyundai Motor Company, and it is currently led by Hyoung-Keun Lee.
Kia’s name comes from a combination of two Sino-Korean words, Ki, which means “to come out,” and a, which means Asia. The company was formed under the name of Kyungsung Precision Industry on June 9, 1944, and was first a steel tubing and bicycle-parts company. The company started to build motorcycles in the late 1950s, trucks later in the 1960s, and cars during 1974.
The first auto-assembly plant was created in 1973 and named the Sohari Plant. This plant created some of the first Kia vehicles, including the Brisa range. It wasn’t until 1986 that the company partnered with Ford and began to produce cars like the Kia Pride, which was sold in the United States.
In 1992, Kia finally made its way to the United States with the Kia Motors America branch. Cars like the Sephia and Sportage were the first to be sold en masse to the US market. By 1995, there were over 100 Kia dealerships across the country.
Recently, Kia opened the Georgia manufacturing plant. The February 2010 opening was shortly after Kia recorded the 15th year of increased U.S. market shares, showing how the company is still growing in today’s market.
If you’d like to check out some of the new Kia vehicles, stop by Paul Sansone Jr. 66 Automall. We can help you learn more about this bold company and the vehicles you can drive.