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History of the KIA Automotive Brand

KIA History


We at Gossett KIA couldn’t be more proud to offer vehicles from KIA, a highly-regarded automaker that strives to put out the very best year after year. KIA’s commitment to quality and innovation dates back over 70 years! Read below for an overview of some of the notable moments in KIA’s rich history.
  • 1944 – KIA Motors Corporation is founded as merely a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts.
  • 1957 – KIA produces Honda-licensed motorcycles, followed by Mazda-licensed trucks in 1962, and eventually cars in 1974.
  • 1974 – The passenger car Brisa is first revealed.
  • 1987 – The KIA Pride makes it way to the United States; KIA’s exports exceed 100 million dollars; the midsize Concord sedan begins production.
  • 1992 – Production of the Sephia begins, marking the production of KIA’s first independently developed passenger car.
  • 1993 – KIA launches the Sportage, which goes on the compete in the Paris-Dakar Rally.
  • 1996 – KIA reveals its first authentic sports car, the Elan.
  • 1998 – The KIA Sedona is launched, and Hyundai and KIA merge.
  • 2000 – Following the popular Sedona, the KIA Optima is launched.
  • 2001 – The KIA Sedona joins the US market, and KIA receives the Korea Quality Award.
  • 2002 – The KIA Sorento is first introduced.
  • 2003 – The full size KIA Amanti is launched; US KIA sales exceed one million units; the KIA Cerato is launched.
  • 2004-2006 – The New Sportage, New Rio, Grand Sedona, and New Sedona are all launched.
  • 2008 – Those releases are quickly followed by the launch of the Forte and Soul.
  • Early 2010s – KIA models continue to improve as KIA is showered with awards for quality, safety, and innovation.
  • 2015 – The KIA Soul wins the Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year Award, and KIA announces its fifth consecutive sales record.
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For more information or to talk KIA, visit us anytime at Gossett KIA! Our dealership provides northern Memphis and surrounding areas with an exceptional inventory of new KIA cars like the Sorento, Rio, Sedona, Forte and Cadenza. Browse our website to view our full inventory, or check out our used cars for more vehicles in a variety of makes and models.

In need of a tune-up or tire rotation? Gossett KIA maintains an expert staff of service technicians that can help you keep your car running smoothly. Call us today or schedule an appointment online. Gossett KIA serves customers in Jackson, West Memphis, Cordova and Bartlett.​ 

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