Initially, Kia started out as a manufacturer of steel tubes and bicycle parts. After peer rival Hyundai helped the Kia Motors Corporation beat bankruptcy in the wake of the Asian financial crisis, the automaker is ranked a s the second largest South Korea-based automobile manufacturer today. As a result of Kia’s woeful past, the carmaker is about 33 percent owned by South Korea’s largest automobile manufacturer, the Hyundai Motor Company. In many rankings, the Hyundai-Kia alliance is listed as one company.
The Hyundai-Kia alliance is one of the leading Asian car brands sold in the United States. In 2017, Kia Motors sold about 2.7 million vehicles to customers around the world, generating revenue of about 53.5 trillion Korean won (or almost 50 billion U.S. dollars). That year, the United States was one of the company’s largest sales markets, with sales accounting for just under 22 percent of the company’s total sales. The total assets of Kia Motors increased to around 52 trillion Korean won. In an attempt to make transportation more sustainable, Kia Motors launched the Kia Soul electric vehicle in 2014.
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