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Kia Motors Corporation is a South Korean automobile manufacturer. Its president is Chung Eui-sun. Kia is South Korea's second largest automobile manufacturer.


Kia was founded in 1944, and is South Korea's oldest car company. It later produced several Mazda models under license, including the Pride (based on the 121) and Avella, which were sold in North America and Australasia as the Ford Festiva and Ford Aspire. The name "Kia" (기아, 起亞) roughly translates as "Arising from Asia" in Korean and Chinese characters.

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 expanded methodically one region at a time. Dealers in 1994 sold the Sephia, and a few years later the United States line expanded with the addition of the Sportage. Despite being taken over by Hyundai, Kia vehicles were considerably less reliable than those from competitors, and relied largely on ten-year powertrain warranties for sales. (Also see Hyundai Motor Company) Kia has consistently ranked last on J.D. Power and Associates durability index. In recent years however, Kia has worked to improve the reliabilty of their vehicles and for one year (2004), it improved to 2nd last (Last place went to Land Rover). The next year it regained its traditional title as the least durable.

Kia's troubles in 1997 helped to push South Korea into the Asian financial crisis, and it was acquired in 1998 by the Hyundai Motor Company. Hyundai resisted this move but were forced by the Korean government to take over Kia as part of the strategy to fix Korea's financial crisis.

Due to the success that came to Kia after Hyundai took over, Kia sales have improved dramatically 1998-2005. Kia announced on March 12, 2006 that they would build their first North American plant in West Point, Georgia. Kia also manufactures bicycles, some of which are sold in the United States.

At the British International Motor Show in London on July 18 Kia revealed first ever European-made vehicle -- code named ‘ED’ -- made in Slovakia.

The Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group ranks as the sixth largest automotive manufacturer in the world, according to the Detroit-based weekly Automotive News.

Affiliations and subsidiaries

Kia is one of the companies of the Hyundai Motor Group and has four subsidiaries:

Dongfeng Yueda Kia Automobile Company is a joint venture in China with Dongfeng Motor Corporation.

Model Lineup

Passenger Car

Kia Motors Group
Subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group


Kia Motors Group
Hyundai Motor Group

Commercial Vehicle

Kia Motors Group
  • Kia KB(based on the Hino Truck)
  • Rhino/Wide-Boxer
  • Kia Trade
  • Kia Boxer(based on the Mazda Boxer)
  • Kia AM Truck(based on the Hino Truck)
  • Kia AM Bus
  • Kia Granbird (Asia Motors)
  • Kia Titan (based on the Mazda Titan)
  • Kia Super-Titan
  • Kia Jumbo-Titan
  • Kia Granto
  • Kia Combi
  • kia Cosmos
Hyundai Motor Group
  • Kia Pamax (based on the Hyundai Mighty II)
  • Kia Rhino (based on the Hino Ranger)
  • Kia Granbird
  • Kia Power-Combi
  • Kia New Cosmos
  • Kia Frontier (1.4ton/2.5ton)

See Also


Hyundai Motor Company

Hyundai | Kia

Current: Sedona · Sorento · Sportage · Rondo · Optima · Rio · Borrego · Forte · Forte Koup · Soul · Cadenza · Ray · K9

Current (Europe and Asia): Picanto · Cee'd · Pro cee'd · Cerato · Venga · Magentis

Historic: Pride · Spectra · Amanti

Concept: KCV-III · KCD-I Slice · Sport · KCV4 Mojave · Soul Concept · Multi-S Crossover · KCD-II · Kue · Cee'd · Pro cee'd · Kia Rondo SX · Ex cee'd Cabrio · KND-4 4x4 · Kee Sports Coupe Concept · Eco cee'd Concept · SOUL Concepts · SOUL Burner Concept · SOUL Diva Concept · SOUL Searcher Concept · Koup Concept · Soul Hybrid Concept · Borrego Limited Concept · SOULster Concept · MPV Concept · №3 Concept · KND-5 Concept · Ray PHEV Concept · Venga EV Concept · POP EV Concept · Sportage Antenna "Work" Concept · Sportage Antenna "Play" Concept · Forte Koup Type R Concept · KV7 Concept

Racing: Forte Koup Grand-Am Koni Challenge

Kia Motors Europe · Doongpung Ywieda Kia · Kia Motors America · Asia Motors, Ltd · Dongfeng Yueda Kia Automobile Company

Kia Corporate website A subsidiary of the Hyundai Motor Company

External links

Main (Korea & Other)
North America
South America