Newport Convertible Engineering has announced that It will produce limited productions of KIA Convertible and It will distribute through selected KIA dealerships worldwide.
By NCE Press release
Kia Motors (Korean: 기아자동차, IPA: [ki.a]), headquartered in Seoul, is South Korea’s second-largest automobile manufacturer, following the Hyundai Motor Company, with sales of over 1.4 million vehicles in 2010. The company is partly owned by the Hyundai Motor Group, the fourth largest automaker in the world based on annual vehicle sales in 2010 after Toyota, General Motors, and Volkswagen AG. Since August 2009, the company has been led by Hyoung-Keun (Hank) Lee.
The word Kia derives from Korean words meaning “to arise to the world from Asia”.
According to Kia Motors, the name “Kia” derives from the Sino-Korean words ki (“to come out”) and a (which stands for Asia), it is roughly translated as “arise or come up out of Asia” or “rising out of Asia”.
South Korea’s oldest car company, Kia was founded on June 9, 1944 as a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts by hand – and has operated as one of the country’s Chaebols since. In 1951 Kia began building complete bicycles. In 1952, Kia changed its name from Kyungsung Precision Industry, and later built motorcycles (starting in 1957), trucks (1962) and cars (1974). The company opened its first integrated automotive assembly plant in 1973, the Sohari Plant. Starting in 1986, in partnership with Ford, Kia produced several Mazda derived vehicles for both domestic sales in South Korea into other countries. These models include the Pride (based on the Mazda 121) and Avella, which were sold in North America andAustralasia as the Ford Festiva and Ford Aspire.
In 1992, Kia Motors America was incorporated in the United States. The first Kia-branded vehicles in the United States were sold from four dealerships in Portland, Oregon in February 1994. Since then, Kia expanded methodically one region at a time. Dealers in 1994 sold the Sephia, and a few years later the United States line expanded with the addition of the Sportage.
During the Asian financial crisis, Kia declared bankruptcy in 1997; in 1998 Hyundai Motor Company acquired 51% of the company outbidding Ford Motor Company which had owned an interest in Kia Motors since 1986. After subsequent divestments, Hyundai Motor Company owns less than 50% of the company.
Since 2005, Kia has focused on the European market and has identified design as its “core future growth engine”—leading to the hiring of Peter Schreyer in 2006 as Chief Design Officer and his subsequent creation of a new corporate grille known as the ‘Tiger Nose’.
In October 2006, Kia Motors America broke ground for Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia in West Point, Georgia, representing a $1 billion USD investment for the company. Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia opened in February 2010, after Kia recorded its 15th consecutive year of increased U.S. market share.
|“||In the past, the Kia cars were very neutral. When you saw one on the road, you didn’t really know if it was Korean or Japanese…I think it’s very important that you are able to recognise a Kia at first sight.||”|
Beginning in 2006 Kia identified design as its “core future growth engine” – leading to the 2006 hiring of Peter Schreyer as Chief Design Officer.Schreyer had previously worked at Audi (designing the Audi TT) and Volkswagen and had won the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Schreyer has since been central to a complete restyling of Kia’s lineup, overseeing design activities at Kia’s design centers in Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Tokyo and the Namyang Design Center in Korea.
With the Kee concept vehicle, shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2007, Kia introduced a new corporate grille to create a recognizable ‘face’ for the brand. Known as the Tiger Nose, Shreyer indicated he wanted “a powerful visual signal, a seal, an identifier. The front of a car needs this recognition, this expression. A car needs a face and I think the new Kia face is strong and distinctive. Visibility is vital and that face should immediately allow you to identify a Kia even from a distance.” Commenting on the new signature grille in 2009: “From now on, we’ll have it on all our cars”.
Kia Motors Corporation (KMC) was founded in 1944, is Korea’s oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles and is now a division of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group. Over 1.5 million vehicles a year are produced in 13 manufacturing and assembly operations in eight countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 172 countries. Kia today has over 42,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of over US$14.6 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and an official automotive partner of FIFA – the governing body of the FIFA World Cup. Kia Motors Corporation’s brand slogan is “The Power to Surprise”.
Kia Motors America (KMA) is the American 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 U.S. market share. In August 2009, Kia was the 8th-best selling automotive brand in the United States, outselling makes like Chrysler and Mazda.
In November 2009, Kia started production at the first U.S. Kia Motors plant, Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia in West Point. The facility is building the 2011 Kia Sorento crossover vehicle and the 2012 Kia Optima sedan.
Kia Motors Europe (KME) is the European sales and marketing division of Kia Motors Corporation (KMC). In 2007 KME moved from its previous location at Hauptstrasse 185, Eschborn, Frankfurt to a new purpose built facility adjacent to the Messe in Frankfurt city centre.
From 1995 to 1999 Kia produced left and right hand drive versions of the Sportage SUV at the Karmann factory in Germany. From 1999 until production of the model ceased in 2003, all Sportage production reverted to South Korea.
Kia began exporting cars to Europe in mid 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.
By the end of 1991, Kia had sold nearly 1,800 Prides in the United Kingdom. The first full year, 1992, saw that figure double, and in 1993 it increased again to nearly 5,500.
The European range expanded in 1994 when Kia began importing the larger Mentor, a range of medium sized hatchbacks and sedan which were marketed as cheap and well-equipped alternatives to the likes of the Ford Escort and Vauxhall/Opel Astra.
A facelift in 1999 saw the Mentor name retained for the saloon, but the hatchback was renamed Shuma. These models remained on sale until 2004, when the newer Cerato was launched and gave Kia one of its first serious competitors for mainstream brands.
The Sportage SUV range, first sold in 1995, has been popular across Europe, but since 2002 Kia has gained more sales in this market thanks to the launch of the larger Sorento.
Despite Kia’s range increasing from one car as late as 1993 to three cars by the end of 1995, British sales actually decreased in that period, from nearly 5,500 in 1993 to less than 4,000 the following year. In 1998, Kia’s future in Britain was thrown into serious doubt when it sold less than 3,000 of its whole range – the worst in any full year on the British market.
Kia did not enter Europe’s large family car market until the launch of its Credos four-door sedan in 1999. This car was similar in size to the Ford Mondeo and Opel/Vauxhall Vectra, but on its launch was actually cheaper to buy than the smaller Focus and Astra. It had a spacious interior, large boot, competitive asking price and high equipment levels, but it had little more appeal to sway buyers away from established European brands like Ford of Europe, Vauxhall/Opel, Citroën and Peugeot. Its successor, the Magentis, launched in 2001, was still nowhere near as popular as Kia might have hoped it would be.
With the range expanded by 1999, sales for that year reached almost 6,400 – more than double the previous year’s total. That annual sales figure had almost been matched in 2000 by the end of May, reflecting Kia’s growing popularity with British buyers. By 2009, Kia was firmly established as a popular brand in Britain, when sales broke the 50,000 barrier for the first time and the brand now had a share of more than 2% in the new car market. The Picanto was the most popular single model with nearly 17,000 sales.
Kia Motors has specialized in the production of military vehicles with variants and other transportation equipment and by supplying them as a sole maker of military vehicles designated by the South Korean Government since 1976, when Kia Heavy Industry Co., Ltd was established. Kia is currently designing a Kaiser Jeep M715-type vehicle named the KM450 for the South Korean Army on license from the U.S. Government. KIA Defense produces six vehicles:
Most of Kia’s main plant locations are in South Korea:
Kia also has facilities in Malaysia, Slovakia, China, Vietnam, and the United States: