Kia is a South Korean automobile manufacturer with global headquarters in Seoul. It is South Korea’s second-largest automobile manufacturer after Hyundai.
The name Kia is derived from two Korean words which together mean “Rising out of Asia.”
Kia was founded in 1944 as a maker of steel tubing and bicycle parts. They later began building complete bicycles.
In 1957 they began building motorcycles, then trucks in 1962, and cars in 1974.
From 1986 to 1995 they expanded methodically and incorporated into the United States.
During the Asian financial crisis, Kia declared bankruptcy. Hyundai acquired 51% of the company. After subsequent adjustments, it now owns 32.8% of Kia.
In 2014, the company announced that it would open a new factory in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. In early 2018, CEO of the Mexico division of Kia, Horacio Chavez, stated that the factory would increase production more than 40% due to increased sales.
The company has faced harsh criticism over premature engine failure and lack of spare tires in new cars, without notifying new car customers.
Today Kia sells over 3 million vehicles per year and in 2019, has plans to enter the market in India in late 2018 or early 2019.
In January 2022, Kia announced a massive recall due to defective airbags.
Kia maintains a corporate office in Irvine, California.