About Kia

Kia Canada Historical Timeline

Kia Motors is one of Korea’s leading automakers. Since its foundation in 1944, the company has grown into a global brand (74th leading brand worldwide), selling more than three million vehicles per year through its 19 sales offices and 4,821 dealerships in overseas markets. Closer to home, Kia Canada Inc. was established in 1999 and has achieved impressive growth including recent record years that exceeded over 70,000 annual vehicle sales through our 188 dealerships nationally. We invite you to scroll through our timeline to learn more about our history and important milestones and achievements.

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Kia Motors earns best-ever ranking in 2015 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study


June 17, 2015
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All-new Kia Sorento receives NHTSA 5-Star safety rating


April 24, 2015
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2015 Kia Sedona named to Ward’s 10 Best Interiors list


April 16, 2015
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2015 Kia Sedona earns NHTSA 5-Star safety rating


April 15, 2015
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All-new 2016 Optima sedan makes global debut at the New York International Autoshow


April 1, 2015
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Soul EV wins the 2015 Canadian Green Car Award at the 2015 Green Living Show


March 27, 2015
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Soul EV wins Automobile Journalists Association of Canada's (AJAC) Canadian Green Car of the Year Award


March 24, 2015
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The Kia SPORTSPACE Concept unveiled at the Salon International de l’Automobile in Geneva


March 03, 2015
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Kia Soul EV wins Motoring TV 2015 ‘Best Electric Car’


March 02, 2015
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Kia Canada reveals the rear-drive GT4 Stinger at the 2015 Toronto International Auto Show


February 14, 2015
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Kia Motors storms into Chicago with electric all-wheel-drive Trail’ster concept


February 12, 2015
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Kia Soul wins second consecutive Canadian Residual Value Award from ALG


February 11, 2015
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All-new 2016 Sorento receives prestigious "iF Design Award"


February 3, 2015
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All-new 2016 Sorento revealed at the 2015 Montreal International Auto Show


January 15, 2015
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Trio of GOOD DESIGN awards awarded to latest Kia models


Kia K900, Soul EV and GT4 Stinger honored in ‘Transportation’ category

January 07, 2015
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Kia Canada scores a win at Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) Canadian Car of the Year Awards


2015 Kia Soul EV earns title as “Best New City Car”

December 02, 2014
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Kia Canada Inc. kicks off fourth annual Drive Change initiative


August 21, 2014
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Kia Motors kicks off FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 with national vehicle handover ceremony


July 31, 2014
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‘Grand Prix’ design award presented to Kia's Chief Designer Peter Schreyer


January 29, 2014
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New Kia Soul wins iF Product Design Award


January 28, 2014
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Kia Canada reveals the all-new 2014 Kia Forte5 and Forte Koup at the Montreal International Auto Show


Explore Forte5Explore Forte KoupJanuary 16, 2014
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Kia shocks the Motor City with rear-drive GT4 Stinger Concept at 2014 North American International Auto Show


January 13, 2014
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Kia Canada scores two wins at Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) Canadian Car of the Year Awards


2014 Soul "Best new Family Car under $30,000" & 2014 Sorento "Best New SUV/CUV $35,000-$60,000"

December 04, 2013
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Chief Design Officer of the Hyundai Motor Group, Peter Schreyer, honoured in the 2013 Golden Steering Wheel


November 08, 2013
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Kia Canada launches the refreshed 2014 Kia Optima


October 18, 2013
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Kia Motors brand value increases by 15% to USD 4.7 billion


September 30, 2013
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Hyundai Motor Group opens European Test Centre at the iconic Nürburgring


September 13, 2013
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Kia Niro concept is unveiled at Frankfurt Motor Show


September 10, 2013
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Kia Canada partners with Student Car Share to launch the first car-sharing service of its kind in Canada


August 29 2013
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Kia Canada’s 3rd annual Drive Change Day


August 21 2013
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Kia enters Interbrand’s 50 Best Global Green Brands


June 2013
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Kia Launches All-New Model


2014 Cadenza

Explore CadenzaMay 2013
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Kia surpasses half of a million units sold in Canada


January 8, 2013
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Kia enters Interbrand’s Top 100 Global Brands


October 2012
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Kia Canada’s second annual Drive Change Day


August 21, 2012
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Optima named Motoring TV 2012 Car of the Year and Best New Family Car


February 2012
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Rio named Motoring TV 2012 Best Small Car under $21,000


February 2012
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2012 Kia Optima LX receives AJAC Award for 2012 Best New Family Car (under $30k)


October 2011
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2012 Kia Optima Hybrid receives AJAC Award for 2012 Best New Family Car (over $30k)


October 2011
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Kia Canada surpasses 400,000 sales


August 29, 2011
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Kia launches the Optima Hybrid


Kia’s first hybrid in North America

Explore Optima HybridJuly 2011
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Kia Canada sells its 355,000th vehicle in Canada


December 15, 2010
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KCI surpasses 50,000 annual sales in Canada for the first time


December 2010
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Kia launches the all-new 2011 Sportage


The all-new 2011 Sportage and its cutting-edge design launches in North America.

Explore SportageAugust 2010
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2011 Sportage receives Motoring TV 2011 Car of the Year award


January 19, 2010
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Kia sells its 300,000th vehicle in Canada


November 2009
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Kia Motors’ first North American manufacturing plant


Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG), opens for operation.

November 2009
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Kia Canada partners with MADD Canada


Kia Canada partners with MADD Canada in the fight against impaired driving, and providing vehicles for national school assembly program.

November 2009
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Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group joins ranks of Global Top 5 Automakers


July 2008
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Kia debuts the Koup concept at the 2008 New York International Auto Show


April 2008
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Kia Canada sells its 200,000th vehicle in Canada


June 2007
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Kia Canada establishes partnership with the Toronto Football Club


Kia Canada establishes partnership with the Toronto Football Club as the official automotive sponsor.

2007
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Groundbreaking ceremony in Georgia for Kia Motors’ first North American manufacturing plant


October 20, 2006
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Kia hires Peter Schreyer as Chief Design Officer from Audi


July 2006
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Kia Canada Inc. opens its new state-of-the-art 160,000 sq. ft. national head office in Mississauga, Ontario


April 29, 2005
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Kia Motors declared the Fastest Growing Automaker in the World by world-class research firm Global Insight


2005
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Kia Canada sells its 100,000th vehicle


December 2004
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Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group is ranked #7 in worldwide sales


2004
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Kia Motors celebrates its 60th anniversary


2004
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Kia Canada introduces the all-new Amanti luxury sedan


November 2003
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Kia’s new flagship vehicle


The Sorento SUV, is launched in Canada.

Explore SorentoNovember 2002
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Kia Canada sells 50,000th vehicle


May 1, 2002
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Kia Canada sells over 26,000 vehicles in second full year of operation


December 2001
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The Sedona is introduced and earns a quadruple 5-star Safety Rating from the NHTSA


The highest possible rating for a minivan.

April 2001
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New vehicles to Canada


Rio, Spectra and Magentis are introduced in Canada.

2000
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Kia Canada sells over 13,000 vehicles in its first full year of operation


2000
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Kia Canada sells over 1,400 Sportage and Sephia vehicles in Canada


December 1999
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The first Kia arrives in Vancouver


May 1999
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Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group is formed


1999
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In December, Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors merge


1998
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Kia cars exported in more than 170 countries


1996
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Annual production reaches 750,000 vehicles


1996
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Kia produces its four millionth vehicle and exports its one millionth


1995
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Sportage joins Sephia in U.S. dealerships


1995
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Kia attains ISO9001 certifications


Kia attains ISO9001 certifications for production of passenger cars, commercial vehicles and electric vehicles.

1994
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Kia celebrates its 50th anniversary


1994
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Kia begins manufacturing Korea’s first 16-valve DOHC gasoline engine


1993
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Production of the Avella begins


Marketed as the Ford Aspire in North America.

1993
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Corporate name is changed to Kia Motors Inc.


1990
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Kia becomes an equity partner with Ford and Mazda in the USA


1986
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Pride hatchback is produced and becomes Kia’s most widely sold vehicle to date.


It is also known as the Ford Festiva and Mazda 161.

1986
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Kia manufactures the Peugeot 604 and Fiat 132


Evidence of increasingly sophisticated technology.

1979
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Kia begins to export the brisa B-1000 pickup


1975
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Kia begins manufacturing the Brisa


Korea’s first passenger car.

1974
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Korea’s first internal combustion engine is manufactured


1973
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The Sohari plant opens


Korea’s first fully integrated automobile production.

1973
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Production of gasoline engines begins


1973
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T-2000 Truck is produced


1967
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K-360 3-wheeled cargo vehicle is introduced


Korea’s first domestically produced truck.

1962
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Product line expands to include Korea’s first motorcycle - The C-180


1961
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Production of Korea’s first domestic bicycle begins


1957
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Production of the C-100 motor scooter begins


1957
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Shihung Factory completed


1957
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Company officially named Kia Industries


1951
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Company established as Kyungsung Precision Industries


1944