The History of Kia
Kia, a Korean motor company, has, in recent years, risen like a sphinx in the motor industry, but the Kia history journey is not very old. It has some of the top models in its line up to offer the real value for your money.
Barely seven decades ago, Kia was a bicycle parts manufacturer operating under the name of Kyungsung Precision Industry. This company originated in 1944 to make handmade bicycle parts, including steel tubes. A few years later, this company began assembling whole bicycles. That was 1951, and one year later, Kyungsung Precision Industry changed its name to Kia, a Korean term that means ‘Rising Out of Asia’. The journey was rapid from here on as the company diversified. The process of diversification went apace with the assembly of motorbikes followed by trucks. In the 1970s, the company began assembling cars.
The First Car
Kia history is full of milestones. In 1973, the company built its first auto assembly plant. In 1974, the company released its first car. This car was Brisa. Kia actually partnered with Mazda to obtain a license to produce Mazda Familia, which was later renamed Brisa. Its 1976 model had 89% Korean components. Brisa gained some popularity, especially as a taxicab. However, the production had to be stalled in 1981, when the contemporary authoritarian Korean regime imposed a new policy that forced Kia to manufacture light trucks. The company had made 31.017 units by then.
The Next Phase
Kia did not look back once it started manufacturing trucks. It partnered with Ford in 1986 and began manufacturing trucks in high volumes beginning with 26 vehicles, but the very next year in 1987, the company had made 95,000 trucks. The company began to spread its global wings now with the production of Kia Pride and Avella selling them not only in South Korea but across continents in Australia and the United States.
Kia began opening dealerships in the U.S. since 1992 and had already opened dealerships across more than 30 states in the U.S by 1995. The 1998 Asian financial crisis impacted Kia to the extent that Hyundai Motor Company had acquired the majority 51% stakes of Kia. Today Hyundai owns about 33% of Kia, while the two companies have some ownerships in each other’s subsidiaries.
Today some of the most popular cars in the market are from Kia such as Kia Soul that has made explosive sales. Although Kia has most of its production facilities in South Korea, the company’s production facilities are spread across three continents.
If you would like to know more about the features of Kia vehicles or if you would like to test drive any Kia vehicle, head over to Sansone Jr’s EZ Auto dealership in Keyport, NJ. This location also serves customers from Old Bridge, Marlboro, and Holmdel.