Kia Motors (Kia) is a South Korean automobile brand established in 1944 under the name Kyongseong Precision. The company changed its name to Kia Industry Co., Ltd. in 1952 and again to Kia Motors Corporation in 1990.
Ford used to have part ownership of Kia. Hyundai had 51% ownership of Kia, but it has been reduced to 33% in 2012.
Kia started with production of bicycle parts and expanded into complete bicycles in 1951, motor scooters in 1957 and motorcycles in 1961.
In 1962 Kia started building the K-360, a 3-wheel small two seat pickup truck built under license from Mazda; i.e. a Mazda K360. In 1971 Kia started producing the Titan under license from Mazda; i.e. a Mazda Titan, a 4-wheel mid-size cargo truck.
Kia built other vehicles under license such as the Italian Fiat 132 and the French Peugeot 604 in 1979 and later Mazda models such as the Mazda 121.
Started production of a 2.5 ton and a 5.0 ton truck in 1988.
The first Kia's arrived in the US in 1986 as a Ford Festiva, a Mazda 121 built by Kia, in 1993 the second generation model changed the name to Ford Aspire.
Kia started selling cars under its own brand name in the US; the Sephia, a compact sedan, in 1994 and the Sportage, a compact SUV, in 1995. Kia started building the Sorento from its manufacturing plant in the US state of Georgia in 2009.