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KIA background and news

Kia Environmental Protection Credentials

Kia now produces over 2.5 millions vehicles annually, so there’s a lot at stake regarding their environmental strategy. The company’s only European plant, in Zilina, Slovakia, holds an ISO 14001 certificate.

Although many of Kia's vehicles are fitted with clean diesel engines, the company currently manufactures just one hybrid-electric vehicle and one pure electric vehicle, which was launched solely in South Korea. Several of Kia’s cars have, however, been awarded the ISO 14040 Life Cycle Assessment in recognition of their environmental responsibility during the entire manufacturing process and not merely for low tailpipe emissions.

Early in 2013, Kia opened its first solar-powered dealership in South Africa. Generating a maximum of 69kW energy per day, solar panels on the roof harvest enough energy to power the entire premises for 12 hours on electricity alone.

Manufacturer History

Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea with 38.67 per cent owned by the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group, Kia Motors is South Korea's second largest automobile manufacturer. Since 2005, Kia started focusing on the European market and is currently the UK's fastest growing car company besides experiencing various levels of success elsewhere Europe.

Kia was founded in 1944 as a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycles. In 1952, it changed its name and later built motorcycles, trucks and cars. It has, since 1986, in partnership with Ford, produced several Mazda-derived vehicles for both domestic sales in South Korea and exports into other countries.

Kia Motors America (KMA) is the sales, marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea.

KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 640 dealers throughout the United States. For 2008, KMA recorded its 14th consecutive year of increased US market share.

Kia Motors Europe (KME) is the European sales and marketing division of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC).

Kia began importing cars to Europe in early 1991, initially selling just the Pride mini-car.

It initially proved popular with buyers but sales fell towards the end of the decade and the end of production was finally announced in May 2000, with its successor, the Rio, not going on sale for another year.

As of 2007, Kia has been importing cars to Europe for the past 16 years. On its arrival, just one model was being sold.

The range has gradually expanded over that time so the marque has a competitor in just about every sector except for the luxury and sports market.

Sales of its products have so far failed to match those of established European brands, but current sales records have been impressive for a brand which only arrived in Europe at the start of the last decade.

Kia offers not less than 11 models. Its bestsellers are the SUV Sportage and Sorento alongside the coupe Ceed. The new Soul will soon join the lineup.

An MPV is also available in the Carens with the other models being less famous but no less competitive in their respective markets.