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Kia (起亞)

Kia (起亞)
Vehicle Marque

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Official Site: KiaMotors.com
Wikipedia: Kia Motors

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A partially-owned brand of Hyundai Kia Automotive Group based in Seoul, South Korea. The corporate name is Kia Motors in English, 기아자동차 in Hangul, and 起亞自動車 in Hanja.

Kia Motors was founded in 1944 as Kyungsung Precision Industry making parts and began making vehicles with motorcycles in 1957, trucks in 1962, and cars in 1974.

Vehicle names used by Kia include:  Amanti, Borrego, Carnival, cee'd, Cross GT, GT4 Stinger, K900, Mojave, Niro, Optima, Picanto, Provo, Rio, Rondo, Sedona, Sephia, Sorento, Soul, Spectra, Sportage, Stinger, and Telluride.

Dealerships include:
Bill Jacobs Kia (Joliet, Illinois)
Briggs Kia (Topeka, Kansas)
Earnhardt Peoria Kia (Peoria, Arizona)
Friendly Kia (New Port Richey, Florida)
Incredible Kia
Lehighton Kia (Lehighton, Pennsylvania)
Matt Taylor Kia (Lancaster, Ohio)
Paramount Kia
Southwest Kia
Gary Lang Kia (McHenry, Illinois)
Nutley Kia (Nutley, New Jersey)
Taylor Kia (Boardman, Ohio)


The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Kia Motors page on 11 January 2018, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Kia Motor Corporation, headquartered in Seoul, is South Korea's second-largest automobile manufacturer, following the Hyundai Motor Company, with sales of over 3.3 million vehicles in 2015. As of December 2015, the Kia Motor Corporation is minority owned by Hyundai, which owns a 33.88% stake valued at just over $6 billion USD. Kia in turn is a minority owner of more than twenty Hyundai subsidiaries ranging from 4.9% up to 45.37% totaling more than $8.3 billion USD.

According to Kia Motors, the name "Kia" derives from the Sino-Korean characters ki (起, "to come out") and a (亞, which stands for (East) Asia), it is roughly translated as "to come out of the east."

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, Kyungsung Precision Industry changed its name to Kia Industries, and later 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, when production came to an end after the new military dictator Chun Doo-hwan enforced industry consolidation. This forced Kia to give up passenger cars and focus entirely on light trucks. Prior to the forced 1981 shutdown, Kia rounded out its passenger car lineup with two other foreign models assembled under license: the Fiat 132 and the Peugeot 604.

Starting in 1986 (when only 26 cars were manufactured, followed by over 95,000 the next year), Kia rejoined the automobile industry in partnership with Ford. Kia produced several 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, which were sold in North America and Australasia as the Ford Festiva and Ford Aspire.

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. Since then, Kia methodically expanded one region at a time. Dealers in 1994 sold the Sephia; and a few years later, the United States segment expanded their line with the addition of the Sportage. Over one hundred Kia dealerships existed across thirty states by 1995, selling a record 24,740 automobiles.

However, during the Asian financial crisis, Kia declared bankruptcy in 1997; and 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 as chief design officer and his subsequent creation of a new corporate grille known as the 'Tiger Nose'.

In October 2006, Kia Motors America broke ground for Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia in West Point, Georgia, representing a $1 billion USD investment for the company. Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia opened in February 2010, after Kia recorded its 15th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share.

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 of his arrival at the Seoul Airport on 14 August.

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.


DateMedia or Collection Name & DetailsFiles
10 February 2002South Korean Carmakers Make Huge US Sales Increases
Michael Leland for Voice of America News

Article Page
- 2:51
10 February 201715-56014 Caitlin Ahearn v. Hyundai Motor America
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Topic Page
- 404MB - 42:54


Kia Uvo Uvo
2013 Chicago Auto Show
Chicago Auto Show photo
Safe Driving Technologies Shine at 2013 Chicago Auto Show
View photo of Kia Uvo - 1.6MB


DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
16 July 2013Catalyst for Diesel Particulate Filter, Preparation Method of the Same, and Soot Reduction Device of Diesel Engine Including the Same
United States Patent US 8,486,852
Ho-In Lee, Yeon-Su Kim, Jin Ha Lee, and Jie Won Park for Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation

- 623KB - 12 pages
16 July 2013Method of Forming Nanostructured Surface on Polymer Electrolyte Membrane of Membrane Electrode Assembly for Fuel Cell
United States Patent US 8,486,280
Kwang Ryeol Lee, Myoung Woon Moon, Sae Hoon Kim, and Byung Ki Ahn for Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation, and Korea Institute of Science and Technology

- 1.5MB - 19 pages

Article Index

10 February 2002South Korean Carmakers Make Huge US Sales Increases Michael Leland
13 July 2006Kia, Proclaimed Best UK Auto FranchiseStacey Wilson
22 February 2007Eight Kia Vehicles Dubbed Best Bet by The Car BookAnthony Fontanelle
20 September 2007Testing Cars In Death Valley: How Tough?Anthony Fontanelle
20 February 2008Kia Expands Partnership With NBA TeamsAnthony Fontanelle
16 April 2009Kia Motors Presence Around the WorldRonnie Tanner
7 September 2010Kia’s Chief Resigns Amid Auto RecallVOA Breaking News
6 January 2013Used Kia Engines Now for Sale Online at UsedEngines.coUsedEngines.co
7 February 2013Kia Motors America Unveils All-New Forte 5-Door at 2013 Chicago Auto Show Kia Motors America
7 February 2013Kia Unveils Stunning New Cross GT Concept CUV At 2013 Chicago Auto Show Kia Motors America
7 February 2013Superman-Inspired Kia Optima Hybrid Soars Into Chicago For Auto Show Debut Kia Motors America
8 February 20132013 Kia Rio Wins MotorWeek Drivers' Choice Award For Best Subcompact Car Kia Motors America
4 October 2013Kia Support YouTube Music Awards Geoff Maxted, DriveWrite Automotive
1 January 2014Kia Warranty Quotes by Repair Insurance Providers Now Featured at Auto Parts Website OnlineAutoProsUSA.com
27 January 2014The New Kia VR7 Range Geoff Maxted, DriveWrite Automotive
11 December 2015Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia Brings SAE International AWIM Program to Troup County School SystemSAE International
29 February 2016The Georgia Manufacturing Alliance Tours KIA Motors Manufacturing Georgia Plant and finds that KIA Car(es)Georgia Manufacturing Alliance
8 March 2016TU-Automotive Announce that General Motors, Kia and the Auto ISAC will Discuss Automotive Cybersecurity at TU-Automotive Detroit 2016TU-Automotive
6 October 2016Showroom Logic and Kia Motors Announce Digital Marketing PartnershipShowroom Logic
8 November 2016PureCars’ SmartAdvertising Platform Named Kia Certified Digital Advertising PartnerPureCars
21 February 2020Alternative Methods for Calculating Off-Cycle Credits Under the Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Program: Applications From Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors CorporationFederal Register: EPA (Byron J. Bunker)

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