Who Owns Kia?

2022 Kia Sorento Rear View

Kia is one of the most popular automotive brands in Brunswick and beyond for its sporty, fuel-efficient, and affordable lineup of sedans, SUVs, hybrids, EVs, and hatchbacks. So, who owns Kia, and where is Kia made? Learn more about the fascinating history of this award-winning automotive company, then check out our inventory of new and pre-owned Kia models at Ken Ganley Kia in Medina. 

Who Owns Kia Motors? The Backstory

Before we dive into who owns Kia, let’s start with a brief timeline of the company’s beginnings:

  • 1944: Formerly known as Kyungsung Precision Industry, the company began making steel tubing and bicycle parts in South Korea.
  • 1951: The company invents the first domestic bike in South Korea and changes its name to Kia Industries. 
  • 1957: Kia Industries begins making trucks and cars under Mazda license and small motorcycles under Honda license in South Korea.
  • 1981: Kia Industries changes their production toward light trucks after the Republic of Korea’s leader declares an industrial consolidation. This allowed Kia Industries to continue its relationship with Mazda, producing trucks for local consumers.
  • 1986: Kia Industries partners with Ford, producing Mazda-derived cars for South Korea and exporting them to other countries. The Kia Pride, a version of the Mazda 121 subcompact, became the first Kia vehicle to be sold in the United States—however, it would be sold as the Ford Festiva. Kia Industries would go on to produce over 95,000 models the following year.
  • 1992: The company opens in America as Kia Motors Company and would have over 100 dealerships across America by 1995.

Who Does Kia Belong To?

Now that you have an overview of the backstory, let’s dive into who owns Kia Motors. Kia Motor Company declared bankruptcy due to the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997. However, the company was saved in 1998 after reaching an agreement with Hyundai Motor Company that resulted in Hyundai acquiring 51% of Kia Motors and selling a number of its subsidiaries to Kia. 

Today, Hyundai is considered a parent company of Kia Motors, owning a little over one third of Kia with Kia retaining ownership of more than 20 Hyundai subsidiaries. While Kia and Hyundai operate independently of each other, their vehicles share a lot of the same platforms, powertrains, parts, and engineering.

Where are Kia Models Made?

Where is Kia made? Kia Motor Company’s original production plant was built in 1973 and is located outside of Seoul, South Korea. However, the company also has three other locations in South Korea, as well as production plants in China, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Slovakia, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, and the United States. This comes out to a total of 14 production plants in eight different countries, as well as four design and research centers across four countries. 

Explore the Latest Kia Models in Medina

Now that you have your answers to the questions, “Who does Kia belong to?” and “Where is Kia made?”, are you ready to see what the latest lineup of vehicles has to offer? Ken Ganley Kia will be happy to show you! Contact us today to set up a test drive! We’re conveniently located near Montrose and Strongsville.


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Ken Ganley Kia 41.13789185206473, -81.79227989979837.