The history of KIA is one filled with many changes, product launches, and awards that span more than 70 prosperous, innovative years. As evidenced by its current vehicle lineup, KIA has long strived toward new technologies, more fuel efficiency and an overall better driving experience for its customers. For a detailed timeline, you can check out the brand’s website, but here’s a brief summary of the much-loved automaker’s past.
In 1944, KIA Motors Corporation was first founded, though at the time, it was a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts, all of which was done by hand. As the company evolved, it began to produce other products.
In the 1950s and through the early 1970s, KIA produced Honda-licensed motorcycles, Mazda-licensed trucks and more, until the company eventually began to produce its own cars in 1974 with the launch of the Brisa passenger car.
By 1987, KIA had made its name in the United States with the KIA Pride, and the company’s exports had exceeded 100 million dollars. The production of the legendary Concord sedan also began around this time.
In 1992, production started on the KIA Sephia, officially marking the production of KIA’s first-ever independently developed passenger car. The KIA Sportage was announced just a year later and it competed in the Paris-Dakar Rally.
As the ‘90s continued, KIA revealed its first authentic sports car, the Elan, and also launched the KIA Sedona, which would remain one of their most popular models for many years to come.
In the early 2000s, KIA launched the Optima and the Sorento, and the automaker introduced the Sedona to the US market for the first time. Additionally, the full size Amanti and Cerato were launched.
By the end of this decade, the New Sportage, New Rio, Grand Sedona, New Sedona, Forte, and Soul were all launched, bringing in a new age of a diverse and celebrated KIA lineup that would continue to this day.
Currently, KIA continues to put out updated models each year while working on new cars and earning the awards to prove it. As recently as 2015, the KIA Soul won the Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year Award.
Interested in a new KIA vehicle like the Forte, Rio, Cadenza or Sorento? Contact the experts at Gossett KIA South to schedule a test drive in one of these fantastic new vehicles. Our dealership is happy to help customers in the Memphis area into a new or used car. For more information, give us a call or stop by our dealership in Southern Memphis. We hope to see you soon!