Kia is a popular brand in North America, but many Canadians and Americans may not know the origins of the brand, why it has a close relationship with Hyundai, or where the company makes its vehicles.
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In this post, we’ll explain Kia’s origins and also list every plant the company operates that serves the North American market. Just like its sister brand Hyundai, Kia is an international company, so it builds cars in many different places for many different markets, but this post will only focus on its North American-serving plants.
Where is Kia From?
Kia was founded in Seoul, South Korea, in 1944 and was originally called Kyungsung Precision Industry before changing its name to Kia Industries in 1956. Kia’s global headquarters are still located in Seoul today. It solely produced vehicles under license from other automakers such as Ford, Mazda, Fiat, and Peugeot and enjoyed a good degree of success both domestically in Korea and abroad, but went bankrupt amidst the Asian Financial Crisis in the late 1990s.
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Rival South Korean automaker Hyundai purchased a 51% stake in Kia in 1998, outbidding Ford in the process, and remains Kia’s largest single stakeholder today. While Hyundai now owns only one-third of Kia, the companies have a strange ownership structure in which Kia also owns small stakes in several Hyundai companies, closely intertwining the companies. The companies share many platforms and engines for their vehicles.
Where Are Kias Made?
Sohari Plant – Gwangmyeong, South Korea
- Kia K900
- Kia Stinger
- Kia Sedona
Hwaseong Plant – Woojeong-myeon, South Korea
- Kia Cadenza
- Kia Niro
Gwanju Plant – Gwanju, South Korea
- Kia Soul
- Kia Sportage
Monterrey Plant – Monterrey, Mexico
- Kia Forte
- Kia Rio
Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia – West Point, Georgia
- Kia Sorrento
- Kia Optima
Ulsan Plant (Hyundai) – Ulsan, South Korea