Who Owns Kia?

by / ⠀Blog / June 12, 2023
who owns kia

There are so many different car manufacturers that it is hard to choose which car you want. Some have unique features while others are luxury brands that can wow your friends and family. Today’s article is to focus on a particular car brand, specifically, Kia. Chances are that you have heard of Kia. Maybe you drove in one before. Or your parents had one. Regardless, the article below is focused on who owns Kia. With that said, let’s get started!

Founding of Kia

Kyungsang Precision Industry was the original founding name of Kia on June 9, 1944, in Korea. It had a focus on steel tubes and bicycle pieces. In fact, it created the first Korean bike in 1951. In 1952, the company changed its name to KIA and would build small motorcycles for Honda as well as Mazda trucks and cars in the 60s and 70s respectively.

However, much of this changed when in 1981 when military dictator Chun Doo-hwan took control and consolidated industries across the country. Kia was then forced to stop making cars and focus on trucks instead. It was then in 1986, Kia was able to start making cars again. They made just 26 that year, but the following year, they partnered with Ford and cranked out almost 100,000 cars. Kia’s partnership with America was fruitful and Kia Motors America was established within the borders of the United States in 1992, marking its incorporation.

The first Kia cars were sold in Oregon in 1992 and they started to expand. By 1995, Kia had over one hundred dealerships in thirty states.

 Under New Management

Kia would suffer bankruptcy due to a financial crisis in Asia. Luckily for it, Kia was bought out by Hyundai Motor Company. HMC was able to acquire 51% of the company, having outbid Ford. After investments, HMC now owns a third of the company but is still the largest investor.

Since the early 2000s, Kia has been able to be a popular car brand in Europe and the United States. It would go on to have 15 years of consecutive growth. In 2014, Kia gained wider recognition when Pope Francis rode in a Kia Soul when he visited South Korea. The Kia Soul became a huge success due to the Kia Carnival and the Hyundai Sante Fe, two very popular car types.

Who Owns Kia?

Kia was formed by Kim Chul Ho who was born in 1905 in Korea. When he was a teen, he lived in Japan and worked in a steel mill. He would set up a business making nuts and bolts for bicycles in Osaka. Kim then returned to Korea and formed Kyungsung Precision Industry.

Kim then changed the name to Kia and started making bikes. However, he was determined for his business to succeed despite the Korean War, making it difficult for him to get the needed materials. He continued to make the first motorcycle in South Korea in 1961. He passed away in 1973 a year before the first Kia compact car, the Kia Brisa was released.

Today, the chairman of Kia is Chung Eui-sun while the president and CEO is Song Ho-Sung. Song was made CEO in March 2020. They chose him due to his expertise in the automobile industry and his handling of business overseas.

Prior to his ascendence, Song was in multiple leadership roles. This includes the Vice President of Kia Motors Frace, Senior Vice President of Kia Motors Europe Vice President of Head of Kia Motors Corporation Export Planning Group, and Executive Vice President of Head of Global Operations, Kia Motors Corporation.

Kia Today

Kia continues to be a successful car manufacturer. As of 2021, Kia had a revenue of 69.86 trillion in South Korean won. In United States dollars, this is about $52 billion. Kia continues to have a working partnership with Hyundai Motor Company by having minority stock in 12 HMC subsidiaries. Not to mention that Kia has plants across the world such as France, Mexico, and India.


Now you know who owns Kia. Kia has had a long and prosperous career. Thanks to a teenager named Kim Chul Ho, he made a dream to have a business. Thankfully, the world was kind enough to allow him to succeed despite conflicts like World War II and the Korean War. Sadly, he wasn’t able to live to see the first car under his company.

But, it managed to survive, even under a military dictatorship and a financial crisis in its homeland, Yet, it persisted. A lot can be said about Kia and how it survived through tough times. What do you think allowed it to be so successful in times of strife and still manage to come out on top? Now it is a recognized household name across the world. Perhaps there is some luck in the world after all?!

About The Author

Tristan Anderson

Hello! My name is Tristan Anderson and I live in Manhattan, Kansas. I enjoy being in nature and animals. I am also a huge geek who loves Star Wars and has a growing collection.