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Founded in 1944 in Seoul, Kia is South Korea's second-largest automotive manufacturer behind its parent company, Hyundai. Originally named Kyungsung Precision Industry, Kia may be most famous for producing Korea's first domestic bicycle. From there, it started producing Honda-licensed motorcycles and Mazda-licensed trucks before creating its own line of automobiles.
While Kia produced vehicles for other automakers for many years, the first automobile to bear its name was the 1992 Kia Sephia, a compact car with a traverse front-engine and front-wheel drive. This was also the first Kia exported to the United States in 1995. The 1995 model originally cost $8,895, the equivalent of $15,815 in current value. Today, Kia makes various compact and luxury cars and a line of SUVs. Its current lineup includes the Soul, Telluride, XCeed, Sedona, Stinger, Sorento, Forte, and Sportage. Kia sold 677,494 vehicles in the US in 2021 which was also their highest selling year since 2005.
Kia recently announced they plan to launch several battery-electric vehicle models in 2023, with the goal of having a total of 14 BEVs by 2027. They previously stated they intended to have 11 BEV models by 2026, but they've added two electric trucks to their EV plans. Kia intends to sell 807,000 EVs by 2026 and 1.2 million by 2030. The company also intends to release high-performance EVs, expanding its GT lineup to include new BEV models.