Kia Motors Company is a South Korean automobile manufacturer.
Kia was founded in 1944, and later produced Mazda models under licence, including the Pride (based on the 121) and Avella, which were sold in North America and Australasia as the Ford Festiva and Ford Aspire. The name "Kia" roughly translates as "Rising from Asia" in Korean and Chinese characters.
In 1993, it began operating in the United States, which first began sales in California. The dealers in 1994 sold the Sephia, then a few years later the United States sales line expanded with the addition of the Sportage. Kia automobiles were generally considerably less reliable than those of their competitors, and rely on ten-year powertrain warranties for sales. (Also see Hyundai) Kia consistently ranks last on J.D. Power and Associates durability index almost without exception (narrowly beaten in 2004 by General Motors, Ford, Chrysler USA market). Kia has worked to build the reliabilty of their vehicles and now rates higher than many others.
Kia's troubles in 1997 helped to push South Korea into the Asian financial crisis, and it was acquired in 1998 by the Hyundai Motor Company.
Due to the success that came to Kia after Hyundai took over, Kia sales have improved dramatically 1998-2005. On September 6, 2005, Kia announced that it would be building a new plant in Mississippi, US to keep up with the US demand for Kia vehicles, which has risen steadily and is expected to reach 290,000 vehicles sold in the US for 2005.
Affiliations and subsidiaries.
Kia is one of the companies of the Hyundai Motor Group and has two subsidiaries:
-Kia Motors America.
-Asia Motors, Ltd.
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