Where is Kia From and Where Are Kias Made?

Sam McEachern
by Sam McEachern

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.

SEE ALSO: 2019 Kia Forte Review

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.

SEE ALSO: Kia Stinger Review

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

Monterrey Plant – Monterrey, Mexico

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia – West Point, Georgia

Ulsan Plant (Hyundai) – Ulsan, South Korea

SEE ALSO: Where is Hyundai From and Where are Hyundais Made?


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Sam McEachern
Sam McEachern

Sam McEachern holds a diploma in journalism from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, and has been covering the automotive industry for over 5 years. He conducts reviews and writes AutoGuide's news content. He's a die-hard motorsports fan with a passion for performance cars of all sorts.

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  • Graeme Smith Graeme Smith on Jun 19, 2022

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