Who Owns Kia?

In 1998, Hyundai Motor Company purchased a 51% stake in Kia, giving it ownership over the acclaimed South Korean automaker.
Written by Samuel Todd
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
Hyundai Motor Company has owned Kia since 1998, when
purchased a 51% stake in the company.
When Kia was founded in 1944, it wasn’t known for its cars—rather, it was a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycles! Throughout the 60s and 70s, Kia transitioned to motorcycles, trucks, and cars. Today, it’s safe to say that Kia has ironed out all the kinks. From the imposing
Kia Telluride
to the sleek and speedy
Kia Stinger
, Kia models are some of the most stylish on the streets.
Want to know how Kia became a top-tier car brand? You’ve come to the right place! We're here to break down the history and ownership of South Korea’s stellar automaker.
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever

Who owns Kia?

In 1998, Hyundai Motor Company out-bid
to gain a controlling share of Kia. Though Hyundai originally bought a 51% stake in the company, that percentage has dropped to about 33% as Kia has gained a handful of new investors.
Though Hyundai is smaller than companies like
, it still earns a spot as one of the ten largest automaker manufacturers in the world. In 2021 alone, Hyundai sold nearly 4 million cars worldwide!

What other makes does Hyundai own?

Kia is Hyundai’s largest asset—but the South Korean giant didn’t stop with its investment in Kia.
Hyundai Motor Company also owns Ioniq, a car brand that boasts incredible hybrid powertrains, and
, a luxury automaker that has enjoyed increasing popularity in the USA. On top of their investments in vehicles, Hyundai has expanded into other areas, like:
  • Steel production (Hyundai Steel, Hyundai BNG Steel)
  • Auto parts (Hyundai Mobis, IHL, Wia, and more)
  • Construction (Hyundai Engineering and Construction)
  • Railroad and defense vehicles (Hyundai Rotem and Wia)
  • Information technology (Hyundai AutoEver)
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Even though Hyundai is involved in virtually every business sector, Kia is its prized investment, generating over $60 billion in revenue in 2021.

Where are Kias made?

Kia’s headquarters might be in Seoul, but it has manufacturing plants all over the world! On top of its four manufacturing facilities in South Korea, Kia has factories in each of these countries:
  • China—the Yancheng Plant
  • India—the Anantapur Plant
  • Mexico—the Monterrey Plant
  • Pakistan—Kia Lucky Motors
  • Slovakia—the Zilina Plant
  • United States—the Georgia Plant
  • Uzbekistan—ADM Jizzakh
  • Vietnam—the Chu Lai Plant
How’s that for an international market? Kia produces a whole bunch of different cars in various countries, but the USA plant in Georgia currently makes just four models: the
, and
Key Takeaway Kia is headquartered in Seoul, but it has manufacturing plants in countries like China, India, Pakistan, and the United States.

A short history of Kia ownership

You’d never know by looking at its sporty lineup of cars that Kia actually started in 1944 as a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts. Originally, Kia went by the name Kyungsung Precision Industry.
It wasn’t until 1952, after Kia built Korea’s first bicycle, that the company’s name was officially changed to Kia Industries. Over the next 30 years, Kia broke into the motorcycle, truck, and car markets, before partnering with Ford to sell more vehicles in 1986 (eventually joining the American car market in 1992).
Ten years later, in 1997, the Asian financial crisis struck, and Kia was forced to declare bankruptcy. Though Ford attempted to buy a controlling share of Kia, it was outpaced by Hyundai, which purchased a 51% stake in Kia in 1998.
Over the next two decades, Kia continued to flourish in the American market. Inspired by its success in the USA, the company invested $1 billion to create a manufacturing plant in West Point, Georgia.
Since then, the brand has gained awards and acclaim in the USA, and even some international fame—especially when
Pope Francis visited Seoul
Abu Dhabi
in an affordable
Kia Soul

How to save money on Kia insurance

It’s no secret: a low-cost car brand like Kia and an affordable insurance policy are a match made in heaven. You’ve already got the Kia—now, what’s the best way to get your hands on cheap insurance?
, our top-rated car insurance super app. Shopping for the perfect policy with Jerry is quick, easy, and—dare we say—fun! It only takes 45 seconds to enter your information, then Jerry will comb the internet for the best quotes in the nation.
Once you tap your favorite, our talented insurance team will help you cancel your old policy and get you off on the right foot with your new one. Over two million drivers trust Jerry to find them the best insurance—and, with average savings of more than $800, it’s easy to see why!
“A seamless process and a fantastic app!
saved me over $2000 on car insurance. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.” —Osvaldo B.
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
Compare and find out in 45 seconds.
Find Savings!
No long forms. No spam calls. Free Quotes.
4.7/5 App Store Rating, 8,100+ Reviews
Trusted by 1.5+ Million Customers.
rating primary
Compare Car Insurance Quotes For Free
Jerry automatically shops for your insurance before every renewal. Members save $872/year.
rating primary
Rating on App Store
Start saving money!
12,000+ Reviews
Trusted by 3.5M car owners like you

You might also be interested

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free