Kia Motors Corporation was founded in May 1944 and is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. From humble origins making bicycles and motorcycles, Kia has grown – as part of the dynamic, global Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group – to become the world’s fifth largest vehicle manufacturer.
Today, Kia produces more than 1.4 million vehicles a year at 14 manufacturing and assembly operations in eight countries. These vehicles are sold and serviced through a network of more than 3,000 distributors and dealers covering 172 countries. The Corporation has more than 40,000 employees and annual revenues of more than US$17 billion.
In its ‘home‘ country of South Korea, Kia operates three major vehicle assembly plants – the Hwasung, Sohari and Kwangju facilities – plus a world-class research and development centre employing 8,000 technicians at Namyang and a dedicated environmental R&D centre. The Eco-Technology Research Institute, near Seoul, is working on hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles for the future as well as state-of-the-art end-of-life vehicle recycling technologies and processes. Kia spends 6% of its annual revenues on R&D and also runs research centres in the USA, Japan and Germany.