Kia History

History of Kia Motors

Kia Motors is the 4th largest automotive manufacturer worldwide. Kia is based in Seoul, South Korea and operates 12 auto plants with branches in 165 countries. The company has grown to the success it is today thanks to an award-winning offering of vehicles, and Kia Motors has been a driving force behind the automobile industry in Korea for over 68 years.The history of Kia motors starts in 1944 with the founding of the company. Initially Kia manufactured steel tubing and bicycles. It wasn’t until 1968 that the first Kia automobile models were produced and the company rebranded as Kia. The name “Kia” is derived from the Chinese language with the syllable ki meaning to “arise or come up out of,” and the second syllable a referring to Asia, together roughly translated to “arise or come up out of Asia.”

The first Kia dealers produced a three-wheeled T-600 truck, and it wasn’t until 1974 that Kia released their first cars, the Brisa 1.0, a series produced until 1981. In 1992, Kia Motors America was incorporated in the United States, and later in 1998 Kia joined the Hyundai-Kia Automotive group and expanded to other markets including Canada with memorable vehicles like the Kia Sportage, Rondo, Sedona, Soul, Optima and Forte. Visit our Regina, Saskatchewan dealership and learn more about the current lineup of Kia models.


Kia has been expanding their selection of vehicles ever since, with mid-size sedans like the Kia Optima, the Kia Rondo offering class-leading efficiency and redefining the class of sport utility vehicles while redesigned small Kia cars like the Rio turned heads with amazing economy and Kia reviews came in with overwhelmingly positive results. Over time, Kia vehicles have proven their reliability and safety. Many models have repeatedly won “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) including the compact Kia Sportage, while the Kia Sedona also became a popular choice thanks to a five-star crash rating and all-around reliability.


Produced from 2009 to 2011, the Kia Borrego brought an entirely different side to the Kia lineup, offering the first available V8 engine and providing class-leading towing capacity. As designs have advanced, so have the diagnostic and repair tools at Kia dealerships across the country.

The Future of Kia and Kia's Future Vehicles

Sustainability has become the focus for Kia engine designs, and a number of eco-friendly engines are now in production including that of the Kia Optima hybrid, a vehicle that helped set a Guinness World Record thanks to its astounding fuel economy. Along with fuel efficiency, Kia performance has improved with advances in technology and available turbocharged engines.

This is just the start of a long road for future vehicles from Kia, as the company continues to have a leading role in developing efficient and alternative-fuel vehicles including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and fuel Cell electric vehicles (FCEV). New lightweight materials are being made from recycled aluminum and other components to help reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency. New hybrid vehicles are currently in testing, and the future is looking bright for Kia autos.

The Kia Motors slogan “The Power to Surprise” is a succinct summary of the company’s global commitment to continue to innovate and surpass customers’ expectations in the years to come.