Kia Motors Corporation, or simply Kia or Kia Motors, is South-Korea’s second-largest car manufacturer after Hyundai, which is also its sister company. Kia’s roots trace back to 1944, when Kyungsung Precision Industry was founded. At that time, the company was making steel tubing and bicycle parts, which in 1951 led to the R&D of Korea’s first domestic bicycle, named Samchully. One year later, Kyungsung Precision Industry changed its name to Kia Industries and started building Honda-licensed motorcycles and Mazda-licensed trucks and cars.
Kia is also owner in 22 different Hyundai companies, while Hyundai owns a 33.88% stake in Kia Motors. Kia’s central office is located in Gangnam District in Seoul. In 1992, Kia set foot on U.S. soil, with the first Kia-branded cars to be sold here reaching the customers through four dealerships in Portland, Oregon, beginning with February 1994. By 1995, Kia operated 100+ dealerships across the U.S., managing to sell 24,740 cars. From 2005 onwards, the company has been focusing on design as a future growth engine. In this regard, Kia hired Peter Schreyer, who coined the Tiger Nose front grille design.