By the way, why is appelle Kia?

By the way, why is appelle Kia?


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Maxime Claudel – February 02, 2020 – Vroom

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Did you know that Kia was Korea’s oldest automaker? Do you know the meaning of his name, which is not an acronym? Don’t panic, we’ll explain.

In France, when we hear about Kia, we think very strongly of the somewhat annoying ad featuring actor Robert DeNiro, who was then in charge of promoting the SUV… Niro. What a sense of humor. Or to the brand’s promise to guarantee its vehicles for seven years (150,000 equivalent kilometres). However, the oldest Korean car manufacturer, born in 1944, first under the name Kyungsung Precision Industry and then Kia Industries, should not be made fun of.

You should know that Kia started out designing bikes and motorcycles. It wasn’t until 1974 that the company launched the first car made in Korea – the Brisa – after a partnership with Fiat to assemble the Fiat 124 under licence. Today, thanks to the Hyundai Group, the fifth largest in the world, Kia is a major player in the market. So much so that he has already put his foot down regarding the electrification of his ranges. But, then, where does the name Kia come from?

Kia e-Soul // Source : Kia

Kia e-Soul // Source: Kia

Careful, Kia is not an acronym.

Contrary to popular belief, Kia is not an acronym, as the letters ‘k’, ‘i’ and ‘a’ are not the initials of a three-word name. More concretely, Kia should be divided into the syllables ‘Ki’ – or 起 – and ‘a’ – or 亚. As the official website tells us, it is an expression that means “revealing oneself to the world” or, more literally, “getting out of Asia“. Strategically speaking, it evokes the will to embrace globalization and sell its products elsewhere than on its land.

The Kia name therefore clearly refers to the Asian company’s desire to expand very quickly, one of the first big successes of which was the C-100 moped. Even so, it was not until 1992 that the installation was observed in the United States. Europe will follow with headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany – with a record half year in 2019. In France, the branch achieved 42,000 sales in 2018 and today Kia can boast of unveiling ambitious and successful concepts.

Kia’s meteoric rise, well helped by Ford’s arrival in the capital in 1986, was halted abruptly by the economic crisis that hit Asian countries at the end of the 1990s. Hyundia’s acquisition of Kia’s business helped to bring the company’s head above water, and since then, Kia has continued to expand its international reach. For example, the manufacturer has signed sponsorship partnerships for major sporting events. He has been involved with the Australian Open, one of the four biggest tennis tournaments of the year, since 2003, with Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal as one of its ambassadors since 2004. Its name is also associated with major football competitions, in the wake of Euro 2008 or the 2010 World Cup. All of which proves that openness is real and that the ambition is indeed to concretize the meaning of the patronymic.

  • To read: Our guide to the electric cars available in France

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