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Kia Motors Corporation is part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, the fourth-largest automaker in the world. With its worldwide headquarters in Seoul, Korea, and operations in 155 countries, Kia has annual sales in excess of 1.4 million vehicles. A large part of Kia's global success is an understanding of the importance of producing vehicles that meet the needs of individual markets. So Kia has research facilities, design centres and assembly operations in North America, Europe and Asia.
Kia Motors Corporation grew from humble beginnings as a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycles during the 1940s and '50s. In 1969, under the new banner of Kia (which translates roughly as "rising out of Asia") the company built its first automobile, the three-wheeled T-600 truck. In 1998, Kia became part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group and began an aggressive expansion into new markets and new vehicle segments that led to the establishment of Kia Canada Inc. and the introduction of brand-defining vehicles like the Kia Sportage, Rondo, Sedona and all-new 2010 Soul.
Kia's corporate presence in North America includes its Canadian headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario, with regional offices in Montreal, Halifax and Vancouver. In addition, the company has research and design centres in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Irvine, California, and will open its first North American assembly plant later this year in West Point, Georgia. Kia's full line of vehicles offers world-class quality and customer satisfaction. Starting with two of Kia's most fuel-efficient vehicles, the sporty and fun-to-drive Rio have skyrocketed in popularity for their ability to stretch the distance between fill-ups. The Optima mid-size sedan brings more room, style and performance. Rondo is Canada's first Urban Utility Vehicle offering class-leading versatility and efficiency. The compact Sportage and intermediate-size Sorento SUV's provide utility and versatility in all situations. Awarded "Top Safety Pick" by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for the third year in a row, the Sedona has become very popular for families all across Canada for its five-star safety rating and practicality. Kia is committed to environmental sustainability and protecting the future for both you and your family. Through extensive research and development, we are actively researching alternative fuels and expanding the use of eco-friendly technology with the development of more efficient engines, exhaust systems and transmissions. Kia has played a leading role in developing alternative-fuel vehicles to help significantly reduce fuel emissions. Our fuel Cell electric Vehicle (FCEV) program is developing and testing hydrogen fuel cell powered Kia Sportages as well as using more materials made from recyclable aluminum and magnesium ? that are 30% to 40% lighter than steel to boost fuel economy. The Kia Rio Hybrid, now in testing is expected to reduce air pollutants by 30% and increase fuel efficiency by 50%. We also continue to improve our recycling efforts with the establishment of an automotive recycling centre with the goal of making vehicles that are 95% recyclable.
From its very humble beginnings as a manufacturer of bicycle parts by hand on the outskirt of Seoul, Korea, Kia Motors has emerged as the driving force behind the Korean motor vehicle for the last six decades, laying claim to the production of the country's first automobile as well as Korea's first automobile export. The word "Kia" is derived from the Chinese characters Ki, meaning to "arise or come up out of" and a, referring to Asia. So when put together, Kia means to "arise or come up out of Asia" Today, Kia has truly risen as a major global player and boasts an ever-expanding product line-up that is sold through a network of distributors and dealers covering 172 countries around the world. Over 40,000 Kia employees spanning the globe from an expansive human network that aspires for excellence on behalf of our valued customers.
With its three dimensional typeface and logo, the Kia CI is designed to reflect the company's youthful and energetic image. The rich, deep red color suggests the passion of the sun and represents Kia's strong determination to move forward in a lively and entertaining fashion. The supple and refined ellipse symbolizes the globe and alludes to Kia's stature as a major player on the world automotive stage.