History of KIA
Kia was founded on 9th June 1944 under the name Kyungsung Precision Industry. Initially the company produced steel tubing and bicycle parts by hand. Since then Kia has become one of the largest corporations to grow out of South Korea and has operated as one of the country's key Chaebols. The company officially changed its name to Kia in 1952 and made its first move into the automotive sphere in 1957. Initially Kia only produced motorcycles and it wasn't until 1974 that Kia began manufacturing cars. The company did however produce trucks from 1962. Kia opened the doors to its first automotive assembly plant, the Sohari Plant, in 1973.
In 1986 Kia formed a partnership with Ford and began producing models derived from Mazda vehicles for sales around the world. Amongst the vehicles released were the Pride and Avella which were rebranded as Ford Festiva and Ford Aspire in North American and Australasia. In 1992 the company made its first steps onto the American market. Kia branded vehicles were sold in dealerships across the United states starting with just four in Portland, Oregon. Kia also expanded their product range during this time with the release of the Sportage.
Unfortunately Kia went bankrupt in 1997 due to the Asian financial crisis. As a result 51% of the company was acquired by the Hyundia Motor Company. Hyundia managed to outbid Ford who had shown interest in the company since 1986. Kia are about to release the brand new Kia K9 which is a successor to the Opirus model in South Korea. Electric versions of the Kia Sportage are also expected to go into mass production in the foreseeable future.