Kia has made a name for itself by manufacturing vehicles that are efficient and represent a high quality degree of design. Kia does this while embodying an approach that focuses on finding better and better ways to make less of an impact on the environment. From their humble beginnings in Korea, Kia has developed steadily into the major automaker it is today.
Kia Motor Company began by hand-making bicycle parts in South Korea. This was back in 1944. A few years later, the company went from making bicycle parts to making complete bicycles. From there, they went on to manufacture motorcycles, then trucks, and finally cars in 1974.
Sometimes, a name can say it all. The name Kia literally means "rising out of Asia." It would seem the automaker's eventual migration to the United States was part of their ambition all along.
Kia made good on these ambitions in 1986. That was the first year they began making passenger cars again after a long break due to government planning restrictions. This was the point when Kia grew beyond their home market and started to export automobiles.
The production of Kia automobiles expanded until they began manufacturing vehicles on US soil in 2010. It was four years earlier that Kia Motors America began construction on a manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia. The $1 billion facility opened for business four years later and now employs 3,000 team members, in addition to 7,500 folks who work for the area suppliers.
The future of Kia couldn't look brighter as the automaker continues to establish a reputation for offering reliable, efficient, and fun-to-drive automobiles. Even the dignitaries can't resist. In 2014, Pope Francis rode in a Kia Soul throughout his five day visit to South Korea.