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Heritage

A Different Beat, Your Joyful Moment

1940–1960

The origin of Wheeled
Vehicles in Korea

  • Founded around that time under the name of Kyungsung Precision Industry, Kia was the first in Korea to make bicycles and later build motorcycles requiring no manual power to move. This marked the start of the dream of being Korea's first maker of four-wheeled automobiles.

  • 1944

    Kyungsung Precision Industry, the origin of Kia, is founded.

  • 1952

    The Samchully, Korea's first bicycle, is unveiled.

  • 1952

    The company is renamed Kia Industries.

1960–1973

Kia, the Pioneer of Korea's Automobile Industry

  • Kia Motors launched the Kia Honda C-100 in 1961 after years of sustained efforts to develop a two-wheeled and a three-wheeled vehicle. Subsequently, it secured the capability to produce an original three-wheeled vehicle for the first time in Korea's automotive industry when it launched the Kia-Mazda K-360 in 1962.

    The huge popularity of the K-360 provided us with the strength to start the second round of development of three-wheeled vehicles in 1967, successfully launching the Kia-Mazda T-2000 and T-600 later on.

  • 1969

    The T-600 starts production.

  • 1973

    The Sohari Plant opens.

  • 1973

    The Brisa pickup starts production.

1974–1997

A Giant Leap towards Becoming a Global Automaker

  • Kia has offered many great models that gained huge popularity among local and international consumers, including the Brisa, the first originally developed passenger car in Korea dubbed the "People's Car"; the Pride, the first Korean car ever to reach production of 1 million units; and the Sportage, the world first passenger car-type SUV to complete the famed Paris-Dakar Rally.

  • 1974

    The passenger car Brisa is unveiled.

  • 1986

    The Pride starts production.

  • 1987

    The Pride sets foot on U.S. soil.

  • 1987

    The midsize Concord sedan starts production.

  • 1992

    The Sephia, Kia's first independently developed passenger car, starts production.

  • 1993

    Completed construction of a proving ground at the Asan Plant

  • 1993

    The Sportage completes the 1993 Paris-Dakar Rally.

  • 1996

    The Elan, Korea's first authentic sport car, is launched.

1998–2010

Challenging Ourselves to Be
a Better Global Brand

  • The joining of Peter Schreyer - one of the world's top 3 automotive designers - as the chief design officer of Kia marked the start of our drive to establish a market-leading design identity.

    Meanwhile, our continued investment in R&D has enabled us to develop a full-lineup of vehicles across all segments as well as propelled Kia to the 69th position on Interbrand's annual list of 100 Best Global Brands.

  • 1998

    Hyundai and Kia merged.Kia becomes a part of the world’s fifth-biggest car maker, the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group.

  • 2000

    The Optima is launched.

  • 2003

    Kia's globally competitive automotive R&D institute (Namyang R&D Center) opens.

  • 2005

    Kia's cumulative exports exceed 5 million units.

  • 2006

    The cee'd, Kia's strategic model for Europe, is unveiled at Paris Motor Show.

  • 2009

    The Soul becomes Korea's first car to receive a red dot Design Award.

2010–Now

A different Beat

  • Since its foundation in 1944, Kia steadily grown into a truly global player and keep trying to bring a new beat to customers

  • 2013

    Kia's accumulated overseas sales exceed 50 million units.

  • 2014

    The Soul EV becomes the first in the industry to be given Underwriters Laboratory's environmental validation.

  • 2014

    Kia GT4 Stinger concept and Soul earn International Design Excellence Awards

  • 2016

    Kia officially opens Mexico production facility

  • 2017

    Kia's first brand experience space BEAT 360 opens in Korea

  • 2018

    Kia presents vision for future mobility at CES 2018

  • 2018

    Three trophies for Kia at the 2018 iF design Awards

  • 2018

    Kia motors is the highest ranked mass market brand in J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study for the fourth consecutive year

  • 2019

    2019 Red Dot Awards: another triple triumph for Kia design

  • 2019

    Imagine by Kia: a new all-electric concept car revealed