KIA

Overview

Founded in 1944 as the second-largest car manufacturer in South Korea, it’s Kia Motors, a subsidiary of Hyundai Kia Automotive Group. They began producing cars under the Kia name in 1974 and introduced popular models like Sportage, Sorento, Optima, and more, catering to diverse car enthusiasts in the market.

According to Kia Motors, the name “Kia” is derived from the Sino-Korean word “ki” (to come out) and the letter “a” (which represents Asia), giving Kia the overall meaning of “rising out of Asia.”

Initially involved in steel tubing and manual bicycle manufacturing, Kia changed its name from Kyungsung Precision Industry to the current Kia Motors in 1952. In 1973, they opened their first fully-integrated car assembly plant called “Sohari Plant” in Gwangmyeong. Kia obtained a license to assemble the Fiat 124 in 1971, followed by Fiat 132 and Peugeot 604 in 1976. They also produced their first gasoline engine in 1973 and the first diesel engine in 1976.

In 1986, in partnership with Ford Motor Company, Kia began manufacturing cars based on Mazda models for the local and international markets, including the Pride (based on Mazda 121) and the Avella, marketed as Ford Festiva and Ford Aspire in North America and Australia.

Kia’s first car was sold in Europe in 1991, the Kia Pride. In 1992, Kia Motors America was established in the United States. In February 1994, the first Kia-branded car was sold by four dealers in Portland, Oregon, in the United States. Since then, Kia’s expansion in the region has been systematic, launching the Sephia in the same year and the Sportage a few years later.

However, Kia faced bankruptcy in 1997 due to the Asian financial crisis, leading to a loss of 51% of its shares to its primary competitor, Hyundai Motor Company. Hyundai outbid Ford Motor Company, which had interests and partnerships with Kia since 1986. Later, Hyundai reduced its ownership of Kia to less than 40%.

Logo and slogan

Beginning in 2006, Kia hired the German car designer “Peter Schreyer” and appointed him as the head of its design department. Schreyer, who previously worked for Audi (designing the Audi TT and others) and Volkswagen (designing the new Beetle), received the “Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany” in 2003.

Schreyer was appointed to redesign Kia’s range of cars and oversaw design activities at Kia’s design centers in Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and the Namyang Design Center in Korea.

In an interview in 2007, Schreyer mentioned that Kia had a “neutral image” before his arrival.

“In the past, Kia cars were very neutral. When you see one on the road, you can’t tell if it’s Korean or Japanese… I think it’s essential to be able to recognize Kia instantly.”

Tiger Nose Grille: With the Kia Kee Concept car showcased at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, Kia introduced a new corporate grille to create a distinctive face for its brand, called the “Tiger Nose.” Schreyer wanted to achieve a strong, eye-catching, identifiable look for the brand, giving Kia cars a powerful, aggressive, and dynamic front that stands out even from a distance. Regarding the new grille in 2009, he stated, “From now on, this will be present in all our cars.”

Old Kia Logo:

Before the recent rebranding of the logo and name, among many other things, Kia operated under the name Kia Motors Worldwide and used the slogan “The Power to Surprise.” Since 2005, this logo played a significant role in its brand identity and greatly contributed to what Kia is today. The meaning behind this logo was to explain how Kia could demonstrate the power of its brand through dynamic and thrilling experiences that could surprise customers and exceed their expectations. With that in mind, the company aimed not only to design a functional car but also to astonish customers with its success and suitability for each individual’s lifestyle.

New Kia Logo:

Kia aspires to become not just pioneers in the automotive industry but also in the future mobility industry, so the company made a pivotal decision to rebuild all aspects of its business related to its brand. In 2021, the company began using a new exciting logo, “Movement that Inspires,” during the unveiling event of the new brand logo for Kia, which represents a new era for the company. Kia believes that mobility is the key to progress and can enrich the lives of those around us. From producing the first domestic bicycle to various three-wheeled vehicles and trucks, Kia strives to inspire new ideas that can respond to changes and provide better mobility.


KIA used the following slogans in different years:

  • KIA, The Car That Cares (2000 – 2006)
  • KIA, The Power To Surprise (2006 – 2021)
  • KIA, Give It Everything (2019 – 2021)
  • KIA, Movement that inspires (2021 – present)

Models

As of December 31, 2015, the Hyundai Motor Company owns a 33.88% stake in Kia Motors. Likewise, as of December 31, 2015, Kia Motors is a part owner of 22 Hyundai companies. Its ownership percentages range from 4.9% to 45.37%. The South Korean automobile manufacturer Kia has produced various cars, SUVs, and buses.

While there are resemblances between various Kia models and Hyundais, certain vehicles like the Soul hatchback stand out as distinct offerings within the Kia lineup. Notable among Kia’s SUVs are the versatile Telluride with three rows of seating and the compact yet capable Seltos. Additionally, Kia presents a comprehensive range of SUVs including the compact Sportage and the spacious Sorento. Expanding beyond SUVs, Kia’s diverse portfolio encompasses a wide array of cars like the compact Forte, the dynamic mid-size K5, and the performance-focused Stinger. Within the realm of electric mobility, Kia introduces hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric iterations of the Niro hatchback, demonstrating their commitment to a greener future.

We are going to mention the most popular models based on the body type as follows:

SUVs and CROSSOVERS

During the late 2010s to 2020s, KIA experienced a significant expansion of its SUV and crossover portfolio in response to the growing market demand for these vehicles. KIA’s diverse range of crossovers encompasses various sizes and options, including the subcompact crossover Sonet and Seltos, compact Sportage and Niro, as well as the midsize Sorento and Telluride. Additionally, KIA offered other noteworthy crossovers such as the Soul and EV6, providing customers with a wide array of choices to suit their preferences.

A Comprehensive Look at KIA Sedan Car Models: From Tradition to Innovation

KIA Motors, a global automotive powerhouse, has consistently delivered a remarkable range of sedan car models that cater to a diverse spectrum of drivers. From the compact urban commuter to the luxury aficionado and the performance enthusiast, KIA’s sedan lineup presents a captivating blend of history, sales success, and groundbreaking innovation.

  1. KIA Rio: Navigating the Urban Landscape with Style

The KIA Rio, a compact sedan, made its debut in the early 2000s, swiftly establishing itself as a reliable and efficient urban companion. Over the years, the Rio has evolved in both design and technology, becoming a symbol of affordable sophistication. Its fuel efficiency, compact size, and contemporary features have contributed to its consistent sales success, especially among young professionals and urban dwellers seeking practicality without compromising on style.

  1. KIA K3 (Forte): Redefining Compact Sedans

The KIA K3, also known as the Forte in some markets, represents KIA’s commitment to delivering an exceptional driving experience within the compact sedan segment. Emerging in the mid-2000s, the K3 combines sleek aesthetics, advanced safety features, and innovative technology. The K3’s consistent sales figures highlight its popularity among drivers looking for a balance between performance and practicality, making it a key player in KIA’s global lineup.

  1. KIA K5 (Optima): Elevating the Mid-Size Sedan Class

The KIA K5, formerly known as the Optima, boasts a rich history dating back to the early 2000s. A true mid-size sedan, the K5 epitomizes elegance and performance. Through the years, the K5 has undergone transformative design changes and technological advancements, consistently redefining the standards of its segment. Its evolution into a stylish and tech-savvy sedan has led to strong global sales, solidifying its position as a favorite among discerning drivers.

  1. KIA K8: A Luxury Statement

The KIA K8, a relatively recent addition to the sedan lineup, represents KIA’s venture into the luxury sedan market. Launched in the 2020s, the K8 showcases an exquisite blend of opulent design, cutting-edge technology, and refined performance. As KIA’s flagship luxury sedan, the K8 is a statement of the brand’s evolution and determination to compete at the highest echelons of the automotive world.

  1. KIA K9 (K900): The Epitome of Luxury and Prestige

The KIA K9, also known as the K900, is a testament to KIA’s pursuit of luxury and prestige. Introduced in the early 2010s, the K9 redefined expectations for KIA as it ventured into the luxury sedan realm. Boasting advanced features, impeccable craftsmanship, and a spacious interior, the K9 exudes sophistication and commands attention. While its sales may not rival those of other models, the K9 serves as a statement piece showcasing KIA’s capabilities beyond the conventional.

  1. KIA Pegas: A Compact Sensation

The KIA Pegas, designed for global markets, offers an appealing blend of compact size and practicality. Emerging as an affordable entry-level sedan, the Pegas aims to provide a comfortable and efficient driving experience for urban environments. Its affordability and cost-effective ownership have contributed to its popularity in markets seeking a reliable yet budget-friendly sedan option.

  1. KIA Stinger: Igniting the Passion for Performance

The KIA Stinger, a remarkable departure from traditional sedan norms, is the embodiment of KIA’s boldness and ambition. Introduced in the late 2010s, the Stinger redefined perceptions of a sedan by seamlessly merging performance, luxury, and innovation. Its sporty design, powerful engines, and exhilarating driving dynamics have garnered a cult following among driving enthusiasts, making it a beacon of KIA’s determination to push boundaries.

In summary, KIA’s sedan car models traverse a wide spectrum of styles, sizes, and purposes, each leaving a distinctive mark on the automotive landscape. From the practical Rio to the luxurious K8 and the exhilarating Stinger, KIA’s sedan lineup exemplifies the brand’s unwavering commitment to delivering innovative, reliable, and dynamic vehicles that cater to the ever-evolving preferences of global drivers.

Best-selling KIA Models globally (2022)

RankModelSales
1KIA Sportage415,863
2KIA Seltos299,433
3KIA K3 / Cerato / Forte215,768
4KIA Sorento214,476
5KIA Rio149,834
6KIA Picanto / Morning148,197
7KIA Niro141,427
8KIA K5121,538
9KIA Sonet112,357

FAQs

Q1: What is the best economical car from KIA?
KIA offers a variety of fuel efficient cars such as: KIA Pegas, KIA, Cerato, and KIA Rio.

Q2: What is the most expensive car from KIA?
KIA Stinger 2023 is the most expensive model offered by the company with a starting price of $57,000 USD.

Q3:What is the cheapest car from KIA?
KIA Pegas 2023 is the cheapest model offered by the company with a starting price of $12,300 USD.

Q4:Which is the best-selling KIA car?
The KIA Sportage is the best-selling car worldwide and for the brand.

Q5: Does KIA offer hybrid cars?
Kia offers the Sorento, Sportage, Niro and K5 as Hybrid models.

Q6: Where are KIA cars manufactured?
The KIA brand name originated as an automobile manufacturer in Korea.

Q7: What is the fastest car in KIA?
The KIA EV6 is the fastest and most powerful car ever produced by KIA. The EV6 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds.

Back to top button