Kia Corporation (commonly known as Kia, but stylized as KI) (Korean: , Hanja: , RR: Gia, MR: Kia, IPA: [ki. a], formerly known as Kyungsung Precision Industry and Kia Motors Corporation) is a South Korean multinational automobile manufacturer headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. It is South Korea's second largest automobile manufacturer after parent company Hyundai Motor Company, with sales of over 2. 8 million vehicles in 2019. As of December 2015, the Kia Corporation is minority owned by Hyundai, which holds a 33. 88% stake valued at just over US$6 billion. Kia in turn is a minority owner of more than twenty Hyundai subsidiaries ranging from 4. 9% up to 45. 37%, totaling more than US$8. 3 billion. Etymology According to Kia Motors, the name 'Kia' derives from the Sino-Korean characters (ki, 'to arise') and (a, which stands for (), meaning 'Asia'), it is roughly translated as 'Rising from Asia. '= Origins and early expansion =Kia was founded in December 1944 as Kyungsung Precision Industry, a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts, eventually producing Korea's first domestic bicycle, the Samchully, in 1951. In 1952, Kyungsung Precision Industry changed its name to Kia Industries, and later built Honda-licensed small motorcycles (starting in 1957) and Mazda-licensed trucks (1962) and cars (1974). The company opened its first integrated automotive assembly plant in 1973, the Sohari Plant. Kia built the small Mazda-based Brisa range of cars until 1981, when production came to an end after the new military dictator Chun Doo-hwan enforced industry consolidation. This forced Kia to give up passenger cars and focus entirely on light trucks. Kia assembled a few hundred more cars in 1982 and 1983, after the ban had taken effect, but built zero passenger cars in 1984 and 1985. Prior to the forced 1981 shutdown, Kia had rounded out its passenger car lineup with two other foreign models assembled under license: the Fiat 132 and the Peugeot 604.
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