Discover Kia

Learn About the History of KIA

Kia is a brand well-recognized and loved by car buyers who want value and reliability. Today, this manufacturer is a global brand, but it started out as a South Korean automotive builder.

Kia Motors is now partially owned by Hyundai Motor Company, which is the largest manufacturer in South Korea with Kia following second. Kia is also a minority owner of Hyundai companies. While the company doesn’t have as long of a history in the automotive business, Kia has come up the ranks quickly to be a strong player in the industry.

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Kia in the Past

Kia formed as the Kyungsung Precision Industry in 1944. The company began as a manufacturer of bicycle parts and steel tubing. This business developed the first bicycle in Korea before changing the name in 1951 to Kia Industries. Kia moved into automotive products in 1957 by building small motorcycles. Mazda trucks were developed by the manufacturer in 1962 with cars following in 1974.

When Chun Doo-hwan took control of South Korea in 1981, it forced Kia to stop building passenger cars and solely create light trucks. Once Kia was able to get back into the auto industry by partnering with Ford, the manufacturer built several Mazda-type vehicles for South Korea and to export.

Once Kia was incorporated into the US in 1992, the Kia brand began selling through four dealerships based in Portland, Oregon. Those dealers began with the Sephia and moved to the Sportage a few years later. By 1995, the company had expanded to more than 100 dealerships.

Kia had financial troubles in the 1990s and declared bankruptcy in 1997. Hyundai breathed new life into Kia when the two companies exchanged ownership.

Kia Models Today

Kia has developed a strong following in the US with an extended lineup of sedans, coupes, hatchbacks and SUVs. One of the most popular in the SUV segment is still the Sportage. This compact model offers premium features without sacrificing efficiency. The Sorento is the full-size model with ample space for passengers and cargo.

One of the brand leaders today is the Kia Soul, a hatchback that is distinct in its look and efficient. The Kia Forte is a compact sedan that is sporty and practical. For those looking at a larger model, the Cadenza and Optima offer options for the car buyer.

If you want a little more power in your sedan, you can’t go wrong with the Kia Stinger. This model offers sporty attitude in look and performance while offering plenty of room to stretch out on long drives. For more choices, the Kia Rio lets you choose between a sedan and hatchback while the Telluride is a newer choice in SUVs.

Kia is recognized for value, premium amenities and an exceptional warranty. You’ll find luxury features like heated front seats in more basic trims to appeal to a broad audience, including the budget conscious.

To learn more about the impressive Kia models available today and what they have to offer, you can visit Premier Clearance Center Metairie.