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Kia Motor Company
5th largest manufacturer
Kia Motors Corporation has been making motor vehicles since 1944, making it the oldest company in Korea to do so. They began by manufacturing bicycles and motorcycles and have progressed to the point of producing 1.4 million vehicles a year. They now employ over 40,000 people and make over 17 billion dollars yearly.
Signing a contract with Mazda in 1975, Kia began production of the Brisa range of cars. Between 1975 and 1981 they started shipping vehicles to other countries. Around that time, the Kia Pride, the Avella and a number of other successful models were presented to the world. The Bongo Van was introduced to the world in the 1980s and quickly became wildly popular. The Seres truck appeared a few years later and was immediately a hit. Shortly thereafter, Kia and Ford collaborated to sell the Avella as the Ford Aspire and the Ford Festiva.
When Kia designed the Concord Sedan in 1987, it helped to boost their reputation as a company that produces safe, dependable vehicles. When the Capitol came on the scene in 1989, it dominated the vehicle sales in South Korea. Kia finally came to the United States in 1992, forming Kia Motors America and starting the sale of their cars here. Later that same year, the introductions of the Towner Coach, Portentia, Sportage, and Sephia were all met with success.
Around 1995, the Kia Elan convertible was released and was a resounding success with Europeans as well as Americans. The Pregio truck and the Kia Credos were welcomed on the scene that same year. The Kia Enterprise Shuma and Retona were so popular when they were introduced to drivers in 1997 that Kia had to enlarge its capacity to produce them.
The Geneva Car Show provided the perfect opportunity for the introduction of the new Sorento, Regal and the Optima in 2002. One of Kia’s best received models, the Forte debuted in 2009. The Kia Optima was given the honor of being called the International Car of the Year last year.
Kia has become one of the most well known automobile brands around as well as being the 5th largest manufacturer of vehicles in the world.
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