History Highlights

Published | 16/04/2010


  •  Launch of new Kia Sportage
  • New Sorento launched
  • Launch of Kia's 1st electric vehicle in Europe – Soul EV
  • New Carens launched
  • Launch of Kia's sportiest car – pro_cee'd GT and cee'd GT
  • Kia breaks ground on 3rd plant in China
  • 1st Optima launched in Europe (January)
  • 1st Optima HEV launched in Europe (October)
  • New Picanto and Rio launched
  • 7-Year-Warranty applies to ALL vehicles sold and registered in Europe
  • New Sportage launched
  • 1st Venga launched
  • 1st Soul launched
  • New Sorento launched
  • Opening of European Headquarter and Design Center in Frankfurt, Germany
  • Start of production in the 1st European factory in Zilina, Slovakia
  • cee'd, 1st Kia model designed and produced in Europe, is launched
  • 7-Year-Warranty is introduced with the cee'd
  • Groundbreaking for Slovakian Plant
  • Picanto, mini-car is launched
  • Second China Plant announced
  • Broke March CBU exports record
  • Second Kia Skill World Cup held
  • 60th Anniversary of corporate foundation
  • Opirus, luxury sedan is launched
  • Cerato, compact sedan is launched
  • Four millionth unit exported
  • Five Billion Export Tower Award received
  • Average export price reaches US$10,000
  • Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group consolidates R&D centers
  • 2002.Carnival Common Rail marketed
  • Sorento luxury SUV marketed
  • Kia Q Service enters full operation
  • Diesel-powered Carens II marketed
  • Cumulative production reaches 10 million units
  • First Skill World Cup Competition held
  • Regal mid-size sedan marketed
  • Company awarded 2002 Value Management Award
  • Upgraded compact sedan Rio SF marketed
  • Subsidiary companies established in 5 European countries
  • Company awarded Grand Prize in Korea Service Quality Award
  • Sorento begins exports to overseas market
  • Participated in 2001 Chicago Motor Show
  • Commenced selling Carnival II.
  • New Rio was introduced in the market
  • Kia was awarded the Korea Quality Grand Prize (the 27th)
  • Participated in 2001 Chicago Motor Show
  • Participated in Shanghai Motor Show
  • President Kim Dae-jung paid a visit to the Sohari Plant
  • Kia advanced into the Chinese market in full force
  • Commenced production of the Pregio 15-seater and Millennium Carnival
  • Started sales of Retona Cruiser
  • Participated in the 70th Geneva Motor Show
  • Commenced production of the 2000-type Visto
  • Adopted the brand identity in all cars
  • Commenced production of Spectra, compact sedan and the Optima, mid-size sedan
  • Moved head office to Yangjae-dong in Seoul
  • Commenced production of Millennium Rio and Carens 2.0 Di LPG
  • Commenced selling 1999-type Carnival, Credos II 2.0V 6 deluxe sedan
  • Changed the name of the Asan Plant to the Hwasung Plant. Kia won the first place among Korean automakers in the number of cars exported to the U.S. in January and February.
  • Commenced selling the 1999-type Potentia
  • Commenced production of the Carnival MPV, the Credos II mid-size sedan, 1-ton Frontier Tilting Cab, and multi-purpose 7-passenger type wagon Parktown.
  • Cumulative export figures reached 2 million units
  • Hyundai Motor takes over Kia Motors
  • Commenced production of the Enterprise luxury sedan
  • Commenced production of the Sephia II and the Bongo Frontier
  • Started construction of Kia plant in Indonesia
  • Completed the joint venture plant in China
  • Commenced production of the Shuma compact sedan
  • Commenced export of the Sephia and Credos to Europe
  • Commenced the national car project in Indonesia
  • Commenced production of the Elan sportster
  • Cumulative production figures reached 5 million
  • 30th anniversary of foundation of Asia Motors Co., Inc.
  • Established Kia Information System Co., Ltd.
  • Commenced production of the Credos mid-size sedan
  • Completed the construction of an R&D center in Tokyo
  • Established Kia-Ford Auto Finance Co. Ltd.
  • Commenced production of the Pregio van
  • 50th Anniversary of corporate foundation
  • Changed the Group's corporate identity
  • Commenced production of Avella.
  • Construction of Automation Factory was completed.
  • Commenced export of the Sephia and Sportage to the U.S.
  • Cumulative production figures reached 3 million
  • Commenced production of the Sportage SUV
  • Completed construction of a proving ground at the Asan Plant
  • Commenced production of the Potentia luxury sedan, and Sephia, Kia's first proprietary passenger car
  • New Headquarters building was completed
  • Established Kia Japan
  • Established Kia Motors America
  • Kia's Sephia and Sportage were displayed at the 29th Tokyo Motor Show.
  • Changed its corporate name to Kia Motors Corporation
  • Completed construction of Asan Plant (Hwasung Plant)
  • Cumulative production figures reached one million
  • Commenced production of a 2.5 ton truck and a 5-ton truck
  • Commenced production of the Pride and Concorde
  • Awarded the Grand Prize for Invention for its retrogression control device
  • Commenced production of Pugeot 604 and Fiat 132
  • Commenced production of diesel engines
  • Commenced production of the Brisa, Korea's first small-size passenger car
  • Took over Kia Precision Works Co. Ltd.
  • Sohari Factory was completed
  • Commenced production of a 2,000cc gasoline engine
  • Commenced production of the K-360 three-wheel cargo truck
  • Siheung Factory was completed.
  • Commenced production of the first Korean-made bicycle, the Samchonriho
  • Changed the corporate name to Kia Industry Co., Ltd.
  • Corporate Foundation (Kyongseong Precision)

Press Contacts

Aidan Doyle

Head of Marketing and PR

Phone: +35314601288

E-mail: adoyle@kiaireland.ie