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Hyundai and Kia: a sister company or second cousins who do not speak to each other during the family get togethers? Hyundai does own Kia, but they keep a lot of their business separate. They still compete against each other and have different teams that run them. However, they do engineer and test vehicles under one roof. So, I wouldn’t say they are close sisters, but I wouldn’t say they are distant cousins either.

Hyundai and Kia are both the largest car manufacturers in South Korea with Hyundai placing at number one. South Korea is the 6th largest vehicle producer in the world. It’s not a surprise since they have such a good reputation of producing quality vehicles.


What is the history between Hyundai and Kia?

Hyundai started out as a construction company in 1947. Then it moved into building ships, cars and elevators. The first car model released from Hyundai’s car manufacturing arm was the Cortina in 1968. It was partnered up with Ford Motor Company at the time.


Hyundai started selling cars in America in 1986 and Kia officially was in America in 1994, starting in Portland, Oregon.

Kia started as a bicycle manufacturer in 1944 and in 1957 it started developing motorized vehicles. The motorized vehicles were mostly motorcycles. Then it started to manufacture trucks in 1962 and cars in 1974. Kia was also responsible for producing military vehicles for the South Korean government.

Things took a turn south, when the Asian Financial Crisis happened in 1997. During this, Kia declared bankruptcy and Hyundai stepped in to take over. In 1998, Hyundai bought Kia Motors. Hyundai Motor Company acquired 51 percent of Kia Motors. It ended up outbidding Ford Motor Company. Hyundai has reduced its stake in Kia and now only owns 1/3 of the company.

How does Hyundai and Kia operate?

Even though Hyundai owns Kia, they do things separately. They have their own marketing team, design team, sales team and distribution centers in the United States. They treat each other like any other competitor.

Hyundai car and SUV models are known for great quality at the right price. Kia has very diverse number of vehicles ranging in all different prices, some going up to $50,000 at the highest trim levels. Kia also makes some products that Hyundai has not. Kia has a minivan known as the Sedona, and a luxury small car called the Stinger. Also, Kia has a large luxury car called the K900. Hyundai has the sporty hatchback couple named the Veloster and Kia does not have a similar vehicle hatchback option.

Should I buy a Hyundai or a Kia?

Hyundai and Kia have a lot of history together and they are both known to be quality vehicles. They are separate businesses but still come together to make amazing vehicles. These companies have been able to produce some of the most innovative vehicles on the market and they are on track to continue that record. It does not matter if you prefer Hyundai or Kia, you can be confident in knowing that you own a great vehicle when you buy a car from our team here at Carolina Hyundai!




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