South Korea's oldest car company, Kia was founded in June 1944 as a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts by hand. In 1952 Kia changed its name from Kyungsung Precision Industry and started producing cars in 1974. Before car production Kia had produced motorcycles and trucks.
The company opened its first assembly plant in 1973 and in 1986, entered into a partnership with Ford. Kia also produced several Mazda derived vehicles for both domestic sales in South Korea into other countries. These models include the Pride (based on the Mazda 121) and Avella, which were sold in North America and Australasia as the Ford Festiva and Ford Aspire.
1997 during the East Asia financial crisis Kia was declared bankrupt and in 1998 Hyundai acquired 51% of the company successfully out bidding Ford. Hyundai's holdings in Kia is now around 40%.
Kia has concentrated on building its European market whilst at the same time opening a Factory in the USA after 15 years of continuous growth in US market share.
Kia have continued to develop designs that suit the European market and now have a range of vehicles with wide appeal, including the Carens, Sedona, Sorento & Sportage. All of which prove popular amongst used car buyers, meaning if you are thinking you would like to sell your Kia, then finding a buyer, whether privately or a buying dealer willing to offer the right price shouldn't be too difficult.