Kia was founded on December 11, 1944 as a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts. In 1951, Kia began building complete bicycles. In 1952, Kia changed its name from Kyungsung Precision Industry, and later built Honda-licensed small motorcycles (starting in 1957), Mazda-licensed trucks (1962) and cars (1974). It wasn't in 1973 that Kia built the first integrated automotive assembly plant in Korea and produced the country's first indigenous internal combustion engine. It was no until 1994, the Sephia sedan was released with a sales over 12,000. In addition, with the importing of the Sportage small SUV in 1996, the sales continued to expand. However, during the Asian financial crisis, Kia declared bankruptcy in 1997 and was 51% owned by Hyundai Motor Company in 1998. Through the years, the company devoted itself to the development of fuel efficient technology and is pursuing an idea called EcoDynamics. Besides, the Kia EV cars are powered only by electric motors with no fuel consumption and the conservation of the environment.
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