Kia Motors Corporation ( -- a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart -- was founded in 1944 as Kyungsung Precision Industry and is Korea's oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. As part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Kia aims to become one of the world's premier automotive brands.

Kia produced Korea's first domestic bicycle, before moving on to produce Korea's first motorcycle and the country's first truck. Kia then became the first company in Korea to locally produce petrol car engines and the first domestic diesel engine.

In 1979, Kia's quality car production was recognised by the fact that two of the world's leading European car makers chose the Korean car maker to build ‘range-topper’ models on their behalf - the Peugeot 604 and Fiat 132.

In the 1980s, Kia's growth really took off. In 1986 Ford joined the list of car makers who looked to Kia to produce cars to be sold under their name. The Festiva joined Ford's line-up, firstly in the USA and then across the world, including Australia for which Kia produced two generations of Ford's entry-level car.

Today, Kia produces nearly 1.5 million vehicles a year are produced in 13 manufacturing and assembly operations in eight countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 172 countries. Kia today has over 40,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of over US$14.5 billion.

A new plant in Slovakia, Eastern Europe, was opened in December 2006 to produce the Kia cee'd range and Sportage SUV for the European market. A second Chinese plant was opened in December 2007 and Kia's first plant in North America is being built in Georgia, USA with completion scheduled for late 2009.

Kia operates a global network of R&D centres, headquartered at Namyang in Korea. This centre coordinates domestic R&D operations in Korea with two R&D centres in the USA, one in Germany and one in Japan. An additional testing facility in California's Mojave Desert was opened in 2003. The company also operates an Eco-Technology Research Centre at Mabuk in Korea.

Since their introduction to Australian consumers in 1997, Kia vehicles have become a feature of the Australian automotive market. Kia is committed to a bright future in Australia with a design-driven range of nine models, including the all-new Cerato and the dynamic Soul, on sale through 110 dealers nationwide.

Kia is the major sponsor of Australia's largest annual sporting event, the Australian Open tennis tournament, and an official automotive partner of FIFA - the governing body of the FIFA World Cup - as well as a EUROTOP partner of UEFA.

Kia Motors Corporation's brand slogan - "The Power to Surprise" - represents the company's global commitment to surpassing customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.

Last Updated: 16.06.09