"Kia means: arise from Asia and that is exactly what they did in the early 1990’s, apparently out of nowhere. It began as a bicycle and then truck manufacturer in 1994. Back in the 1970’s, Kia was the first Korean automaker to produce a passenger car and an internal combustion engine. Kia is second, right behind competitor Hyundai. Its motto are quality cars with a great emphasis on safety and low-cost affordability. It appeared in the US as the Ford Festiva in 1987. It was basically a Kia Pride rebadged. As Korean economy grew, they decided to launch the Sephia Sedan in the US market. The marketing strategy was to start introducing it gradually in the West Coast and move across the country. Its reputation was quickly enhanced by word of mouth as an economy car motivating the carmaker to introduce its compact SUV Sportage, which won several awards and landed a spot on many top ten lists. Kia was set to take over Japan’s slot in the compact economy car segment. In fact, in some markets, the Sephia outsold the Protégé. Then came the Asian financial crisis in the 1990’s which led Kia to declare bankruptcy. Hyundai acquired it in 1998 with a renewed emphasis on quality and reliability. Having Hyundai as a mentor sort of say, Kia introduced more sedans to its line, including the Optima (mid-size) and Rio (Subcompact). The Spectra was a small but sporty hatchback and sedan. Up to this day, the Sportage continues to be a popular SUV choice, especially now that it’s moved into the crossover category. The Sedona minivan has been rated as one of the safest minivans by the insurance institute. By 2003, Kia had sold over one million vehicles in the US and it continues to expand its lineup with the small crossover Rondo with three seating rows and the recent Sorento SUV "