Previously known as Kyungsung Precision Industry and Kia Motors Corporation, Kia Corporation, sometimes known simply as Kia (Korean: Hanja: RR: Gia; MR: Kia, IPA: [ki.a]), is a South Korean multinational vehicle manufacturer with its headquarters in Seoul. With sales of more than 2.8 million vehicles in 2019, it is South Korea's second-largest automaker, after its parent firm, Hyundai Motor Company. Hyundai, which owns a 33.88% interest in the Kia Corporation and is the minority shareholder as of 2015, has a value of slightly over US$6 billion. Kia is also a minority shareholder in over twenty Hyundai businesses, with stakes ranging from 4.9% to 45.37% and worth over US$8.3 billion.
As a producer of steel tubing and bicycle parts, Kyungsung Precision Industry was created on June 9, 1944. Kia finally produced Korea's first indigenous bicycle, the Samchully, in 1951. After changing its name to Kia Industries in 1952, Kyungsung Precision Industry went on to produce compact bikes under the Honda and Mazda licenses beginning in 1957. (1974). The Sohari Plant, the company's first integrated vehicle assembly plant, opened its doors in 1973. The Brisa line of compact automobiles, based on the Mazda, was produced by Kia until 1981, when Chun Doo-hwan, the new military dictator, ordered industry consolidation and put a stop to manufacturing. As a result, Kia was compelled to abandon the passenger vehicle market in favor of light trucks. After the restriction was lifted in 1982 and 1983, Kia produced a small number of additional vehicles.
Before being shut down for good in 1981, Kia had completed its portfolio of passenger cars with the Fiat 132 and Peugeot 604—two further foreign models that were built under license. These knock-down kits may be imported as long as Kia exported five automobiles for every Fiat or Peugeot that was imported (Hyundai had to meet the same requirement).
Kia returned to the automotive market in collaboration with Ford in 1986 (the first year just 26 vehicles were produced, followed by almost 95,000 the following year). For both domestic sales in South Korea and for export into other nations, Kia created a number of Mazda-derived cars that were positioned at the lower end of the market. These vehicles included the Avella, which was marketed as the Ford Festiva and Ford Aspire in North America and Australasia, and the Kia Pride, which was based on the Mazda 121. Kia Motors America was established in the US in 1992. In 1992, four dealerships in Portland, Oregon, offered the first Kia-branded cars in the country.
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