Rev Up Your Knowledge: 12 Remarkable Kia Facts Every Car Enthusiast Must Know

Kia Motors is one of the leading car manufacturers in the world, with a presence in over 170 countries.

Kia’s cars are known for their quality, appearance, efficiency, reliability and affordability.

But how much do you know about the history and achievements of this Korean company?

Here are some interesting facts about Kia Motors that every car enthusiast must know.

12 Remarkable Kia Facts Every Car Enthusiast Must Know

1. Kia started as a bicycle manufacturer

Yes, you read that right.

Kia corporation was founded in May 1944, as a bicycle manufacturer and was originally known as Kyungsung Precision Industry.

It unveiled Korea’s first bicycle Samchully in 1952 and was renamed Kia Industries.

The company’s first passenger car, the Brisa was unveiled in 1974.

2. Kia Means ‘Rising from The East’

The name “Kia” is derived from the Sino-Korean characters ‘Ki’ and ‘A’.

‘Ki’ means to rise or to come out and ‘A’ means East or Asia.

So it translates to rising from the east or coming from Asia.

This reflects Kia’s ambition to become a global player in the automotive industry.

Kia has certainly risen from the East and conquered many markets around the world.

3. Kia developed its own engine in the 70s

During the 60s, Kia partnered with Japanese carmaker Mazda.

With the experience gained from this partnership, it made its very first engine in the 70s which paved the way for the launch of its first passenger car, the Brisa.

Brisa was inspired by the ‘Familia; whuch was exported as the Mazda 1300.

Kia started exporting Brisa and the first shipment was sent to Qatar.

Kia and Mazda have maintained a good relationship ever since.

4. Kia had to stop making passenger cars in 1979

The South Korean government was overthrown in 1979 and the country went under the dictatorship of a military dictator.

All major industries had to shut down and repurpose themselves for military production.

Due to this, Kia also had to completely shut down the production of its passenger cars to produce light trucks.

This was a tough time for Kia, but it did not give up on its vision.

5. Kia restarted production in the 80s with the help of Ford

After the military coup, Kia did not have the resources and technical base to restart the production of passenger cars again.

During this time, the company struck a deal with Ford, under which it manufactured some of Ford’s models for the South Korean market under a license.

This helped Kia to regain its foothold in the domestic market and prepare for the future.

6. Kia achieved its first commercial success in 1986 with Kia Pride

Kia got its first commercial success in 1986 when it produced Kia Pride.

It was based on Mazda 121 and was sold in North America as Ford Festiva.

The Korean car was very well received and the company sold 2 million cars.

Kia Pride was also the first car to be exported from Korea to the United States.

Kia Pride was a proud moment for Kia and Korea.

7. Kia entered the US market in the 90s and launched its first diesel engine

In 1990, Kia developed its first diesel engine, the DOHC.

Two years later, the company incorporated Kia Motors America in the United States.

The first model launched in American markets was Kia Sephia.

After some time a crossover called Kia Sportage was launched, which became the most popular SUV in America.

Kia also introduced its first electric vehicle, the Kia Soul EV, in 2014.

8. Kia became a part of Hyundai Motors in 1998

During the Asian financial Crisis Kia declared bankruptcy and later reached an agreement with Hyundai Motors.

Hyundai acquired 51% of the company and became its largest stakeholder.

Kia shares its engine designs with Hyundai.

The two companies have formed a strategic alliance that has benefited both of them.

Kia has gained access to Hyundai’s resources and technology, while Hyundai has gained from Kia’s innovation and creativity.

9. Kia focused on the European market in the 2000s and designed a model exclusively for Europe

In recent years, European markets have been Kia’s priority.

The company has made a strong presence in Europe were competing with local players is difficult.

It has registered record sales and continues to grow.

The company designed Kia CEED which is exclusive to the European market.

CEED stands for ‘Community of Europe and European Design’.

CEED is a stylish and spacious hatchback that has won many fans in Europe.

10. Kia Has Won Over 500 Awards Worldwide

Kia has received many awards all across the world.

Its reliability, safety, quality and designs have won many accolades over the years.

Kia has won the prestigious J.D. Power Initial Quality Study for six consecutive years, the Red Dot Design Award, the iF Design Award and many more.

Kia has also been recognized for its social responsibility and environmental sustainability.

11. Kia Was Chosen by Pope Francis

The People’s Pope is known for his simple lifestyle.

During a visit to the UAE in 2015, Pope Francis arrived in a Kia Soul car for his official welcome and sent across a strong message with his humility.

The simple Kia Soul got the best brand ambassador.

12. Kia Manufactures Military Vehicles

Kia is the official supplier of military vehicles to the South Korean Army.

It is the sole research institute for developing Korean military vehicles along with production.

It also supplies military vehicles to 20 foreign nations.

Final Thoughts

As a passionate car enthusiast and avid follower of Kia Motors, I hope these facts have ignited your curiosity and deepened your appreciation for this remarkable company.

From its humble beginnings as a bicycle manufacturer to its current position as a global automotive powerhouse, Kia Motors has always been driven by a relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation.

As we conclude this journey through Kia’s history, I invite you to continue exploring and celebrating the legacy of this iconic brand.

Whether you’re behind the wheel of a Kia vehicle or simply admiring its achievements from afar, remember that the spirit of Kia lives on in every road traveled and every adventure embarked upon.

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