How it all began….

Kia was founded in 1944, on the outskirts of Seoul, as a manufacturer of bicycle parts. From its humble beginnings, the company has gone from strength to strength, emerging as the driving force behind the Korean motor industry. Kia can also take credit for the production and export of Korea’s first cars.

As a global company, Kia Motors produces in excess of 2 million cars a year and, as such, a wide range of Kia vehicles including passenger cars, commercial vehicles and buses can be seen throughout the world.


Kia has always been proud of its heritage – and this is reflected in its name. In fact, the word ‘Kia’ is derived from the Chinese characters ‘ki’ meaning to ‘arise or come up out of’ – and ‘a’, which refers to Asia. So, the name Kia literally means ‘to come out of Asia’.

Today, Kia has become a household name, with an ever-expanding range of models sold through a network of dealers in 172 countries and over 44,000 employees across the globe. But no matter how big we become, our customers remain our top priority and we aim to provide the same personal service as we did when we began, over sixty-five years ago.

Interested in learning more about Kia through the years? Our timeline reveals the company history to date highlighting vehicles produced and sold through the years from the first domestic bicycle produced in 1957 to our current day vehicles. You could also take a look at our official corporate blog here.

For more information on models, news and deals, wherever you are in the world, visit Kia around the world on our Facebook page.