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What Is the Relationship Between Kia and Hyundai?

by Timothy Peckinpaugh

Both Kia and Hyundai were founded in the 1940s with headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. Although both began as independent companies, Hyundai bought Kia, promoting and showing new models of both car brands.


Hyundai was established in 1946, and it quickly became the largest corporation in South Korea. Kia was founded two years earlier in 1944, producing bicycles before turning to motorcycles and trucks and later manufacturing cars. In the early 1980s, Ford partnered with Kia, and in 1986 the companies produced the car Pride together.


In 1988, Kia filed for bankruptcy as a result of the financial crisis in Asia. Ford sold the company to Hyundai. Kia quickly became solvent after the merger as a subsidiary of Hyundai.


After the merger, Hyundai and Kia began to advertise new models of cars. Kia focused on improving the design of its models, and it hired former Volkswagen designer Peter Schreyer to improve the style. Once under the control of Hyundai, Kia became a thriving corporation.

About the Author

A resident of Riverside, California, Timothy Peckinpaugh began writing in 2006 for U.S. History Publishers, based in Temecula, California. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Riverside, with a bachelor's degree in English.

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