In December of 1944, Kyungsung Precision Industry, a precursor to Kia, was officially founded. In this original form, the company focused on heavy machines and commercial vehicles. In 1952, the company was renamed Kia.
It wasn’t until August 1973, that Kia produced its first vehicle for the general public. It was called the Brisa and was available as a small pickup truck and later as a passenger car in October 1974. Combined, Kia produced 75,987 Brisa models.
Another of Kia’s early models was the Pride. It began production in December 1986 and was exported to the United States in January 1987. Later that year, Kia started production on the mid-size Concord sedan.
The 1990s brought a lot of innovation and achievement for the brand. In September 1992, Kia began production on the Sephia, its first independently-developed passenger car. This decade also saw the introductions of the Sportage, Elan sports car, and Sedona.
With the new millennium, Kia made even more progress. The Optima sedan was introduced in July of 2000. In 2002, Kia launched the Sorento with a new Rio model making its debut in 2005. One of Kia’s most popular vehicles today, the Soul, was first introduced in September 2008.
To observe the culmination of Kia’s rich history, stop into Crown Motor Company in Tyler, TX.