(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)
- Published: Tuesday, 28 May 2013 18:22
- Written by Ben David T Quirk
It was 1944 in Kyungsung, and Kia the Asian manufacturing company concentrated on domestic bicycles, steel tubing and parts. Kia originates from the Chinese language and translates into "to arise, to come up out of Asia." By the 1950's the company was looking into branching out, they already had released Korea's first bike near the end of the decade,this prompeted them start producing and release motorised scooters, namely the C100.
1960's / 70s - 3 wheels and beyond
The 1960's were an experimental decade for Kia, they diversified and started producing motorcycles and a range of three-wheeled pickup vehicles namely the T-600. The next step was to start producing cars, this started to happen in the early 70s. However by 1973 a Plant had been designed and constructed in Sohari plant. This was Korea's first production line car company facility, the facility started working on a petrol engine driven car, the first step was achieved a petrol engine , then a year later the Kia Brisa followed. This was the counties first passenger car, by 1979 the technology developed and used to make vehicles was being adopted to produce such vehicles as Fiat and Peugeot cars.
The 80s saw a turn in producing, a whole array of cars were released theses included new models such as the Concord, Capital, Pride & Potentia. In 1987, Kia cars started arriving on US soil, but as other models one being the Ford Festiva the other being Avella a couple of years later, this car was renamed the Ford Aspire.
This move by Ford gave the Asian car manufacturer the inspiration to begin selling cars and other vehicles on US soil. This took place in the early '90s, this started with the Sephia, it was a very gradual process at first early, with models only available in limited US states. As the 90's came so did more Kia import vehicles throughout Europe and the US, vehicles varied from SUV's to roomy saloons however the company recognised the next big thing was the SUV ( Sport Utility Vehicle) it was already very popular vehicle with drivers due to space & versatility; Kia therefore released the Sportage to satisfy this lust, in 1995. By the end of the '90s, They had successfully established their goal of rolling out a car to the whole nation, there was now Kia dealerships in all US states with the exception of North Dakota. Due to financial problems there was no more money to expand the rest of the range, Hyundai Koreas other car giant recognised the problem and offered a merger this formed Hyundai-Kia automotive group in 1998.
The Millenium, and beyond
Hyundai-Kia entered the year 2000 very positively with the Sportage finishing The paris to Dakar rally, since merging with Hyundai, both companies have improved and improved. There 2007 range showcases some very fine models, a car for all occasions, from the Picanto, Rio & Magentis to the Cee'd right throught to their new range of SUV's such as the new Sportage and Sorento. The future looks bright.