Mississauga, Ontario – Kia Canada has marked its 10th year since arriving in Canada. The company has sold more than a quarter of a million vehicles in Canada since 1999.
Kia Canada is a subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation, which was founded in 1944 and is Korea’s oldest motor vehicle manufacturer. It first sold bicycles, followed by scooters and motorcycles in the 1950s, and later by cargo vehicles. It opened its first fully integrated automobile facility in the early 1970s in Sohari, South Korea and produced vehicles for the domestic market, along with cars for Peugeot and Fiat under partnerships.
In 1987, it built the Festiva, sold by Ford in North America, and began marketing cars and trucks under its own name in the U.S. in 1994, along with Latin America, the Middle East, France, Germany and Italy. In 1998, it merged with Hyundai to form the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group.
In 2008, the company opened a corporate headquarters and design centre in Irvine, California. Later in 2009, it will begin producing Kia vehicles in its first North American manufacturing plant, in West Point, Georgia. The plant will have a capacity of 300,000 units per year.
Kia Canada initially began operations in a 5,000-square-foot facility in Mississauga, Ontario with 15 employees. In 2005, it moved into its current headquarters in Mississauga, a 175,000-square-foot facility that employs 134 people and includes a national parts distribution warehouse. It also has regional headquarters in Vancouver, Montreal, Quebec and Halifax, and 155 dealerships across the country.