Founded in Korea
in 1944, Kia Motors got its start as a manufacturer of steel tubing and
bicycle parts. In 1961 Kia began building motorcycles, and by 1971 four-wheel
trucks were in production. Kia Motors America was established in 1992, with
the Sephia officially launching in the U.S. in 1994. Kia became the
second-fastest growing auto brand in the U.S. with a 39 percent vehicle sales
increase in calendar year 2001. A significant portion of Kia is owned by
Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd.