The people at Kia Motors explain that the name Kia is derived from the Hanja ki which means arise or come up out of or rising up and that the a represents Asia, which means that their name can be loosely translated as Rising out of Asia. Kia, which is South Korea's oldest car company, did indeed rise up.
It was founded in 1944 as a bicycle and steel tubing manufacturer. After changing its name from Kyungsung Precision Industry in 1952, Kia built motorcycles, trucks and cars, eventually partnering with Ford in 1986, to produce cars derived from Mazda platforms, both for domestic sales in Korea, and imports into other countries. These models include the Pride and Avella, which are better known in North America as the Ford Festiva and Ford Aspire.
Kia Motors America was incorporated in the United States in 1992, and the first vehicles under that brand, the Sephias, were sold in February, 1994, from dealerships in Portland, Oregon. Since then, Kia's expansion has been a methodical one, building region by region, eventually adding the Sportage to their American line. Their entry strategy proved to be extremely successful, setting a new standard for entering the US market.
Kia's success was curtailed in 1997 by the Asian Financial Crisis, and the company filed bankruptcy, which resulted in its 1998 acquisition by rival South Korean company Hyundai, which outbid Ford, despite the fact that Ford had owned an interest in Kia since 1986.
Kia's success began anew at the beginning of the 21st century, and expansion into Europe has ensured that it will continued to grow.
2013 Kia Forte
While the 2013 Kia Forte is certainly no luxurious Mercedes-Benz or flashy Audi, it starts at an MSRP of just $15,400, which should be enough to get any potential car buyer excited. Available in 7 different colors and 3 interior fabric designs, the 2013 Forte will offer consumers multiple options. The exterior design of the Forte has certainly improved in appearance, from models of years past, however it is still somewhat ordinary. In fact, when you think of a typical mid-size sedan, the Kia Forte certainly fits that exact mold. There are three models of the Forte available to consumers: the LX, EX and SX. 15" tires with steel wheels come standard on the LX and EX, while the SX comes with 17" tires with aluminum-alloy wheels. The side mirrors are not only heated, but have turn signals on them, in both the EX and SX models. All models also come with a variable intermittent windshield wiper, which further adds to the overall convenience of owning a 2013 Forte.
Inside the cabin of the 2013 Forte, all models are adequately equipped with an AM/FM/XM/MP3/CD speaker system. more
2012 Kia Forte
While Kia certainly may not have the reputation of long-time car manufacturers like Ford, Nissan, Chevy or Mercedes-Benz, in the last few years they have certainly stepped up the quality of the cars they produce, while maintaining extreme affordability.
2012 Kia Sorento
Available in 9 different eye-catching colors, the 2012 Kia Sorento is setting a new standard in quality for Kia automobiles. However, the color schemes are simply the beginning of how much Kia has improved the quality of its cars in recent years.
2012 Kia Sedona
Although the 2012 Kia Sedona is starting to look a little aged up beside the competition, it's still solidly in the top third of the available mini vans and offers a lot of value in the $24,900 to $29,190 MSRP range.
2011 Kia Sportage
The 2011 Kia Sportage sits in the upper third of the affordable compact SUV class, an auto segment packed with choices. All new for this model year, the Sportage offers a good mix of style, standard features, and safety.