Korean Cars

Kia & Hyundai

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Let’s talk about Korean Cars. Right off the bat you might say “no, thanks”. KIA and Hyundai, believe it or not, are at an extremely high demand all over the US, South America, Europe, and the list goes on. In Brazil, for example, it is a huge success. Both brands. Especially Hyundai. For many years now, these cars were almost completely ignored in the USA. Things changed. They are no longer dreadful to look at, and performance-wise, they can blow your mind. Hyundai’s v8 engines are very impressive, and even their v6 engines leave Ford and GM cars on their toes. They are turning heads for quite some time now, especially with models such as the KIA Sportage, KIA Sorrento, Hyundai Sonata, Hyundai Azera, and the Hyundai SUVs, such as the Santa Fe and Veracruz.

Here’s a little history behind Hyundai. The name means “Today” in Korean. It is a South Korean automaker founded in 1967. In 1948 it started building police vehicles, along with partner Ford. It was meant to produce only for their domestic Market. Only in 1974 that their first car was produced. It was designed and developed by Hyundai, under the name “Pony”, and was presented in the Turin Auto Show in Italy. The Pony used Japanese technology, like the engine, transmission and suspension. In 1976, Hyundai exported its first car, the Pony. Six years later, the Pony II was presented, with a more modern design, and in 1984 they had 500 thousand police cars produced. In that same year, Hyundai presented their new model, the “Stella.”

In the following year, Hyundai established itself  in the US, at the same time that the model “Excel” was launched to be produced in its brand new factory in South Korea, capable of producing 300 thousand police cars per year. The following year, Hyundai hit the 1 million mark in car production. And, that same year it came out with its first luxurious model, the “Grandeur.”

Kia, Hyundai, Korean Car and truck loansIn 1987 it launched its mini cars and trucks. Not pick-up trucks, but big trucks. In 1989 it built a factory destined to produce its V6 engines and on that following year it launched its sport coupe, the “Scoupe” and its other luxury vehicle, the Sonata.

In 1991 it launched and produced its first 100% Hyundai engine, named Alpha, and three years later it launched its second engine, the Beta. Still in 1994 it launched a new model, the “Accent” with Alpha engine, which was planned to have been a huge hit when it came to sales, and it was.

During its bit expansion, Hyundai presented two new models, the Tiburon and the Sonata. Although having launched yet another luxury model, the Dynasty.

Hyundai grew exponentially during the next decade and more, having established sales all over there world. In the US market, today you can find Hyundai models for all classes and tastes. You have the small yet sporty Accent and Veloster coupes, the small sedan Elantra (which also comes in a Coupe platform) and the bigger sedans such as the Sonata, Azera, Genesis and Eqqus.

Kia began building passenger vehicles in 1974, and presented its first car, the “Brisa.” Two years later, Kia bought Asia Motors that built commercial vehicles. It was in 1978 that Kia started building diesel engines. By then, the brand had already acquired vast international recognition, and in 1979 it built the two models named “604” and “132”, only to be sold domestically in South Korea. After much struggle in the beginning of the 1980s, Kia was re-structured and, with the help of Mazda and Ford, began building new models “Conord” and “Capital.”

In 1990, Kia Motors was born, and inaugurated its new factory that was capable of producing 700 thousand vehicles per year. In 1991 Kia launched its brand in international markets, with the models “Sephia” and “Sportage”, with this last one being their own version of a small size SUV.

The constant investments during the 1990s led to the fast consumption of millions of dollars, almost leading Kia to bankruptcy in 1998. It was then that the brand was bought out by Hyundai, and that partnership exists till this very day. If you see Hyundai and Kia vehicles on the road, you can notice how they all sort of blend in together. Their engines are very alike, and for those of us who want to switch to Korean cars, it might be your best idea yet. These cars are coming out with very high gas mileage, not to mention some of the best warranties in the US market so far. Kia also presents the market with a great variety of models, going from the sporty coupe Forte, to its SUV Sorento and finally to its very luxurious models, such as the Cadenza and K900.

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