Kia Motors Corporation

Kia Motors Corporation was founded in May 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. From humble origins making bicycles and motorcycles, Kia has grown – as part of the dynamic, global Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group – to become the world’s fifth largest vehicle manufacturer.

Today, Kia produces more than 1.4 million vehicles a year at 14 manufacturing and assembly operations in eight countries. These vehicles are sold and serviced through a network of more than 3,000 distributors and dealers covering 172 countries. The Corporation has more than 40,000 employees and annual revenues of more than US$17 billion.

In its ‘home‘ country of South Korea, Kia operates three major vehicle assembly plants – the Hwasung, Sohari and Kwangju facilities – plus a world-class research and development centre employing 8,000 technicians at Namyang and a dedicated environmental R&D centre. The Eco-Technology Research Institute, near Seoul, is working on hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles for the future as well as state-of-the-art end-of-life vehicle recycling technologies and processes. Kia spends 6% of its annual revenues on R&D and also runs research centres in the USA, Japan and Germany.

Building to satisfy ‘local’ demands

Outside Korea, Kia has a long history of building locally to meet the specific needs of local customers, with assembly operations using ‘car kits’ (supplied from Korea), in Ecuador, Iran, Malaysia, Russia, and Vietnam.

Recently, Kia has completed construction of its first-ever European engine and vehicle assembly plant (in Slovakia) and its second manufacturing facility in China. The building of Kia’s first plant in the USA is progressing on schedule for an opening in late 2009. All three of these new plants have a capacity to build up to 300,000 vehicles annually on flexible assembly lines that can manufacture several different models simultaneously to adapt to global changes in buying trends.

Creating a Distinctive ‘Look’

As part of its long-term plan to become one of the world’s premier automotive brands, Kia is determined to design and build cars that customers actually want to buy. To keep in touch with consumer needs and trends Kia has invested in new headquarters in both Europe (in Frankfurt, Germany) and in the USA (at Irvine, California).

Kia is also determined to create a distinctive appearance for its vehicles. The Corporation has appointed top German car designer Peter Schreyer as Chief Design Officer and also invested in two new Design Centres in Germany and the USA, staffed by young multi-national teams of designers.

Raising Brand Awareness

To progress its global ambitions, Kia is constantly reinforcing its brand image and raising public awareness through sponsorship partnerships with global sporting events and personalities. Kia is an official partner of both UEFA and FIFA and is a sponsor of the World Cup 2012.

The company is also the major sponsor of the Australian Open until 2013 and has adopted Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal as ‘global brand ambassador’.

Kia has upgraded its sponsor status of the X Games Asia, one of the world’s signature action sports competitions, to title sponsor and the event has been rebranded as ‘Kia X Games Asia’. In the USA, Kia is running a multi-tiered basketball marketing programme that includes the sponsorship of nine NBA teams.

From Pioneer to ‘Surprising’ brand

From its earliest days, Kia established a reputation as Korea’s automotive pioneer – producing the first bicycle (1944), first motorcycle (1961), first small car (1974) and first Korean-designed car (1992). By 1993 Kia had manufactured three million vehicles. Five years later, Kia exported its two millionth car and by 2004 its total exports passed the five million mark.

Today, Kia Motors Corporation is a genuine global force in the automotive world and its brand slogan – ‘The Power to Surprise’ – represents the company’s global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.

Kia Motors Corporation

As one of the few South-Korean manufacturers, Kia boasts a history that goes back more than fifty years. Following the production of bicycles and motorbikes, it first started producing cars in the nineteen seventies. Developments then followed in rapid succession, resulting in the broad range of models that is on the market today.

Concept Cars

This is not all, as is witnessed by the multitude of activities on the agenda for the near future. In addition to lots of new models, Kia regularly presents concept cars. These cars give a great impression of what Kia has in store for the future.

Plants

Kia Motors employs more than 30,000 people who work in three modern plants in South Korea. The Hwasung Plant is the biggest plant, with a production capacity of some 600,000 cars per year. The Sohari Plant is Kia’s first plant, and manufactures 340,000 cars per year. Kia’s company cars are manufactured in the Kwangju Plant. A total of 220,000 cars leave the plant here. For more information, please go to www.kiamotors.com

New Kia plant in Europe

KIA invested one billion euros in the construction of a brand-new construction site in Zilina, Slovakia. The construction of this plant, which only builds Kia models, was started in April 2004 and became operational at the end of 2006. The final aim is to manufacture some 200,000 cars per year. This is the first large KIA plant on European soil.

It is the definitive link of the brand with our continent, building cars according to the highest European quality standards. This new production unit will not only set the tone with new standards on efficiency and productivity, but will consequently also respect the strictest environmental standards in the European Union. Since quality is a top priority for KIA, 1 in every 15 employees is responsible for quality control. The Zilina currently employs 1,200 of the very best specialists in car assembly. This number is expected to rise to 3,000 by 2009.

Kia and Sport

Kia is constantly reinforcing it’s brand image and awareness through sponsorship partnerships with global sporting events and personalities.

Kia is an official partner of both UEFA and FIFA and is a sponsor of both Euro 2008 and the World Cup 2012.

The company is also the major sponsor of the Australian Open and will remain so until 2013 .Kia is also a sponsor of the Davis Cup and has reinforced it’ s commitment to tennis by adopting tennis stars such Andre Agassi previously and Rafael Nadal currently as global brand ambassadors.

Kia has upgraded its presenting sponsor status of the X Games Asia, one of the world’s signature action sports competitions, to title sponsor and the event has been rebranded as ‘Kia X Games Asia’. In the US has recently announced a multi-tiered basketball marketing program in the U.S. that includes the sponsorship of nine NBA teams.