The History Of Kia Motors Car Company

With an increased focus on finding more economical and fuel efficient automobiles, there is more and more interest in smaller engine vehicles. One of the newest names in automobiles in the United States and Europe is Kia Motors. Though Kia Motors is a relative newcomer to the western world, the company has actually been around for decades though they have not always been mainly a builder and manufacturer of automobiles.

Kia is actually South Korea’s oldest car company. Kia was founded in 1944 and their first purpose was that of a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycles. It wasn’t until 1952 that Kia acquired its current name and shortly thereafter they moved into the manufacturing of motorcycles, pickups, and smaller cars. For the better part of three decades Kia served as one of South Korea’s main domestic manufacturer of automobiles. Beginning in 1986, Kia entered into partnership with the Ford Motor Company and began producing and selling vehicles that were derived from Mazda models. For the first time these vehicles built by Kia were intended for export to other countries just as much as they were intended for sales in their home country of South Korea. These first models were the Pride and the Avella, in North America and the Australia area these were sold as the Ford Festiva and the Ford Aspire.

Kia Motors foothold in the United States started with the incorporation of Kia Motors America in 1992. The first vehicles sold in the United States as Kia branded vehicles were sold in 1994. Kia had a unique business plan in that their first four dealerships were all located in Portland, Oregon. They would then set about slowly expanding in America one geographic region at a time. Kia began by offering very basic and inexpensive new cars featuring the Kia Sephia and later the mini-SUV Kia Sportage.

Kia had begun importing their smaller cars into Europe in 1991, but it wasn’t until the late 1990’s that Kia expanded fully into the European market with production centered from their plant in Germany. Kia grew to become popular in Europe behind its smaller cars and the mini-SUV Sportage. It wasn’t until the 2000’s that Kia began marketing their full size vehicles along side their cheaper economical cars.

Due to the Asian financial crisis of the time, Kia declared bankruptcy in 1997 and were acquired a year later by rival and fellow South Korean automobile manufacturer Hyundai. Interestingly, Hyundai had outbid the Ford Motor Company for the Kia Motors property, Ford had a relationship with Kia stretching back to 1986 and had even owned an interest in the company before its bankruptcy.

Kia started in the North American and European markets with essentially the same strategy, marketing one and then two of their less expensive models until a foothold was established and then expanding into a wider variety of car offerings. Today, Kia has a competitive automobile available in almost every sector as larger car companies except for the luxury and sports car markets. Kia looks poised to remain a popular car maker for many years to come based on its aggressive car pricing model combined with its steady focus on grown and expansion into new markets.

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  1. pedro says:

    i have a problem whit my car, my car is a kia sorento, I need one solucion a problem, in spain I have not solution motors service central. I wait your help. thank.

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