Many companies start out doing one thing, and end up becoming better known for another. Kia Motor Company exemplifies this as much as any other firm. Starting as a bicycle manufacturer, Kia continued to expand its area of expertise into motorized vehicles to become a well-known and respected international brand. Kia is now known for producing some of the most stylish and fuel efficient vehicles on the road today.
Kia officially broke ground in Seoul, South Korea in 1944 in the middle of World War II. By 1951, they had expanded away from just manufacturing bicycle parts by hand, and creating full vehicles. In 1957, they began to build their first motorized vehicles in the form of motorcycles, a natural evolution. In 1962, they were able to branch into building trucks, and by 1974, they were fully into the automobile business with their first car.
Kia went through several changes, including being forced into building only light trucks due to political reasons. By 1986, they were once again manufacturing cars at an ever increasing pace. A partnership with other manufacturers helped get them rolling again. In 1992, Kia America was born with the first Kia Dealership opening in Portland in February of 1994. The company has seen ever increasing sales since then and has expanded the number of Kias on the road for twelve straight years.
The Asian financial meltdown did hit the company hard, and Kia filed for bankruptcy to make sure they came out of the crisis better than ever. After some reorganization and work with some other firms, Kia is more stable than ever before. It continues to expand its footprint around the world in more ways than one. Beyond having an excellent number of Kia dealers all around the country, the company has also invested heavily in manufacturing in the United States and abroad.
In 2010, a one billion dollar plant was opened in Georgia to manufacture two of Kias top selling cars in the United States, the Kia Optima and Kia Sorrento. The Optima is an award winning midsized sedan that has been one of the backbone vehicles of the Kia lineup. Understanding their market, the Sorento is a crossover SUV that has proven popular in the US, as well. The plant employs over three thousand, and purchases parts from multiple other companies located inside the United States.
Today, Kia continues to be a strong presence on American roads. With a lineup of well viewed fuel efficient and stylish vehicles, they will continue to stand out as a company. Never one to rest, Kia works hard to improve their vehicles so they can continue to grow in the minds of consumers. Visit a Kia dealer in order to see just how well one of their vehicles fits the needs of just about any motorist.