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The History of Kia

Known as Korea's oldest manufacturer of automobiles, Kia first started as a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts in 1944. Then known as Kyungsung Precision Industry, Kia came to produce bicycles like the Super Cycle 3000 in 1951. A year later, the company changed its name to Kia Industries, ki meaning "to rise out of" and a meaning "Asia," and began manufacturing motorcycles domestically in 1957.

During the late ‘50s, South Korea was still recovering economically from the Korean War, and by the early ‘60s, following the April Revolution and resignation of Syngman Rhee, a new government was formed under the leadership of Park Chung-hee. Many of Park's policies focused on economic growth, aiming to improve South Korea's domestic production and reduce foreign importing. Kia was selected to be a chaebol (a Korean conglomerate, usually controlled by a wealthy family) of its industry with a focus on the manufacture of goods and trucks under the South Korean Government's Five-Year Plans, granting guaranteed protection and financial assistance.

Kia got to work and released its first truck, the K360, based on a Mazda design. The company built many of its cars with imported parts. It assembled them and later used that knowledge to build their own parts. Even though Hyundai, which had also been included on Park's plan, was larger, the two companies did not compete due to set prices based on engine sizes. This allowed Kia to stay in business and expand to commercial vehicles. It later assembled its first passenger car, an imported Fiat 124 in 1970. Kia later went on to open up the Sohari plant in 1973, where it built 1 liter engines with its acquired knowledge, making it the first Korean company to do so. Two years later, Kia exported its first vehicles.

Kia's First Models

The Brisa, a rebadged rendition of the Mazda Familia, produced under license, was built from 1975-1981. Kia continued to license models throughout much of its early history, and later with the Kia Pride and Avella, known as the Ford Festiva overseas-and also the Bongo van/truck, the Concord, and the Sephia, all licensed from Mazda.

By the early 1990s, Kia became a publicly traded, independent company. It founded Kia Motors America in 1992 with the intention of expanding operations into the US. In 1994, the company changed its logo design to its current style, and established its first dealership in Portland, Oregon, offering the Sephia sedan and the Sportage SUV, which both shared many Mazda components. Expansion did not go as planned, however. While Kia was successful at offering cheap and affordable cars, it fell further into debt, and with the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the company put itself up for sale. Many companies bid on Kia, but ultimately it went to South Korean automaker Hyundai who purchased 51 percent - a controlling interest. By the end of the ‘90s, the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group was formed.

Kia Today

Since then, Kia has drawn influence from Hyundai rather than Mazda. Many of its newer, 2000s models have shared the same platform as Hyundai models. This was apparent with the Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent, Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata, and the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson. Pairing up with Hyundai has been a success for Kia, as all three of these models are still in production, and it's just starting to see success on the race track in the Pirelli World Challenge. With newer models like the Sorento SUV and the upscale Cadenza, look for Kia to remain on the upswing.

Need Kia Parts?

As with any automobile, normal wear and tear will occur, destroying your Kia parts and forcing you to buy replacements. If you are in need of a replacement part for your Kia, you've come to the right place. At 1A Auto, we get you the right Kia parts for your vehicle, at a great discount. You'll find a large selection of new, high quality aftermarket Kia auto parts, including headlights, carpets, mirrors, exhaust manifolds, and much more. We don't only just sell aftermarket Kia parts online here at 1A Auto; we also carry a selection of new, genuine OEM replacement parts - the very same parts you would receive if purchased from your local dealer, but without the inflated cost - and performance parts such as high flow air filters for your Kia vehicle as well.

Our product development team spends over 8,000 hours a year researching the best auto parts, and they are carefully selected by our trained engineers so you can rest assured that you are getting the correct, high quality part you need for your Kia, at a discount price. If we wouldn't put the part in our own cars, we won't sell them to anyone else. A new aftermarket replacement Kia part from 1A Auto will save you 30-50% on average over a comparable new OEM replacement Kia part that you would get at a dealership, and our new aftermarket Kia parts are also extremely durable and reliable. Don't overpay for Kia auto parts and save yourself from a lot of potential headaches by shopping at 1A Auto.

You can shop for all of your Kia car parts online and buy safely and securely right here on our website, or you can call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about any of our parts, or to buy over the phone. With over 150 years combined experience, 1A Auto's customer service representatives are the most qualified to answer your questions about all of our new, aftermarket, genuine OEM, and performance Kia car parts. Our representatives answer 99.9% of phone calls in less than one minute and emails are responded to within the hour because we know you need answers quickly to get your Kia back in working order again. We also know you want your part fast for the same reason; 98% of in stock Kia auto parts ship from our warehouse within one business day so that you can get back on the road in no time, and all ground shipping in the continental US is completely free. And, in the unlikely case that you are unhappy with your Kia auto part for any reason, 1A Auto also offers the only No Hassle return policy for unused items in the industry. Simply put, our competitors can't beat the 1A Advantage. Don't just take it from us - take it from over 50,000 satisfied customers!

Look no further than 1A Auto for your aftermarket, original equipment (OE) replacement, new and performance Kia auto parts and get your Kia the new parts it needs today from car enthusiasts just like you! If you happen to be an enthusiastic Kia owner, have a deep passion for Kia vehicles, or just want to learn more about the automotive manufacturer, continue reading below for a detailed look at the brand's history and some of its past and present models.

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Kia is a registered trademark of Kia Motors America Inc. 1A Auto is not affiliated with or sponsored by Kia or Kia Motors America Inc. See all trademarks.
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