Kia Motors Corporation is located in South Korea and it is the second larger automaker in this country. It is only surpassed by Hyundai, but starting with 2012 Hyundai actually owns over 30% of Kia.
The name Kia can roughly be translated as “rising out of Asia” and this is exactly what the brand has done. Kia cars are enjoying great popularity in their home country, but they are also sold on numerous other markets. The origins of Kia can be traced back in 1944. However, the company didn’t produce cars for its first thirty years. At some point in the mid-80s the company was struggling with financial problems. In order to get back on track, it entered a partnership with Ford. As a result of this partnership Kia cars started being sold in the United States in the early 90s. However, they were not marketed as Kia cars on the market, but as Ford models. The financial troubles were not over though and in the late 90s the company went bankrupt as a result of the financial crisis in Asia. Considering the long partnership with Ford, it was expected from this company to buy Kia. This didn’t happen and the company was acquired by Hyundai instead. Kia cars are also present on the European market from the early 90s. This market gained more importance in time and in 2005 it was seen as a viable solution for increasing sales.
Kia Motors America is the supplier and marketer of the brand in the United States. It does a very good job and it sells cars in over 700 dealerships all across the country. The manufacturer is very successful in the United States and in 2009 and it was on the 8th position in a top ranking the best selling cars. It managed to obtain better results than Chrysler or Mazda. In the same year the company also opened a manufacturing facility at West Point.
In Europe, the Kia vehicles are sold by Kia Motors Europe. It had a long and successful history on this market and despite the financial troubles in Europe, the company’s sales in 2013 increased from previous years.