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Kia Motors 

“Market Cap $22.84 B As of May 2014

At a Glance

  • Industry: Auto & Truck Manufacturers
  • Founded: 1944
  • Country: South Korea
  • CEO: Mong-Koo Chung
  • Website: www.kia.co.kr
  • Employees: 33,456
  • Sales: $43.48 B
  • Headquarters: Seoul

Forbes Lists

#258 Global 2000

  • #199 in Sales
  • #180 in Profit
  • #684 in Assets
  • #483 in Market value
Profile

Kia Motors Corp. engages in the manufacture and sale of motor vehicles. It operates through the following segment: Passenger Cars, Recreational Vehicles and Commercial Vehicles. The PC segment provides products such as Picanto, Rio 4-door, Rio 5-door and Soul. The RV segment provides products such as Carnival, Sedona, Sportage and Sorento. The CV segment provides products such as K2700, Strong, 3000S, 2500TCI and K4000G. The company was founded on December 11, 1944 and is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea.

“Kia Motors History

According to Kia Motors, the name “Kia” derives from the Sino-Korean words ki (“to come out”) and a (which stands for Asia), it is roughly translated as “arise or come up out of Asia” or “rising out of Asia”.

South Korea’s oldest car company, Kia was founded on June 9, 1944 as a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts by hand – and has operated as one of the country’s Chaebols since then. In 1951 Kia began building complete bicycles. In 1952, Kia changed its name from Kyungsung Precision Industry, and later built motorcycles (starting in 1957), trucks (1962) and cars (1974). The company opened its first integrated automotive assembly plant in 1973, the Sohari Plant. Kia built the small Brisarange of cars until 1981, when production came to an end after the new military dictator Chun Doo-hwan enforced industry consolidation, meaning Kia had to give up passenger cars and focus entirely on light trucks.

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 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. By 1995, there existed over one hundred Kia dealerships across thirty states, selling a record 24,740 automobiles.

However, during the Asian financial crisis, Kia declared bankruptcy in 1997; in 1998 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 less than 50% of the company.

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.”

*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org

**Video published on YouTube by “Troy Wilke