There’s no denying that when Kia cars made their first appearance in North America, they were anything but desirable. In fact, they were known as vehicles that were built cheap, didn’t last and for car buyers who couldn’t afford a better option. That said, the automaker has worked hard to not only produce an amazing lineup of Kia vehicles but goes toe-toe with some of the top brands such as Honda, Audi, Toyota, Volkswagen, and others. Like most automotive industry companies, they didn’t begin as a producer of cars. Here’s a brief history of the evolution of the Kia car brand.


Before the 1950s, the Kia motors brand we know today was known as Kyungsung Precision Industry and was a producer of bicycle parts and steel pipes, all made by hand. After the 1950s and into the 60s, the new brand Kia evolved and started working with car manufacturers such as Honda and Mazda producing Honda-licensed motorcycles and Mazda-licensed trucks.

North American debut

If you were around in 1992, then you were around when the South Korean automaker jumped to the western world, and Kia Motors America was founded. The auto company launched with four locations in Portland, Oregon debuting the Kia Sephia and Kia Sportage. Unfortunately, just five years after its launch, the new vehicle company in the USA had to claim bankruptcy. At this time, the Kia brand was acquired by a brand well known to everyone – Hyundai.

Continuation of success

Some would argue it was at the time when they joined forces with Hyundai that they started to get noticed as a vehicle option other than a replacement for a used car. The auto industry was shaken when Kia Motors hired Peter Schreyer, one of the most innovative car designers, to help redesign the brand‘s lineup of vehicles.

Still holding the main headquarters for Kia in South Korea, the North American side of the business has climbed the rope to vehicle success with models such as the Kia Sorento, Kia Soul, Kia Telluride, and Kia Optima. With dedication and commitment to continued success, the brand will continue to be in the same ranks as other well-known car companies by creating sleek and functional sedans, crossovers, and electric vehicles.

To learn more about the evolution of Kia or to get yourself into one of the top-rated vehicles, stop by Kia of Saskatoon.