The Truth About the Relationship Between Hyundai and Kia


Hyundai and Kia have a strange, symbiotic relationship. They share factories, parts as well as engineering knowhow and product testing duties. And yet they remain separate entities with their own marketing, distribution and styling departments.

Michael Sprague, Kia’s VP for marketing and communication describes their relationships to the New York Times likes this:

“Kia Motors America operates as a completely separate sales, marketing and distribution organization in the United States. [Hyundai and Kia share engineering efficiencies] similar in many ways to other global automakers.”

Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor echoes those comments:“[Hyundai treats Kia] just like any other competitor in the automotive space.”

On the flipside of the equation, the final product decisions for both brands are made by a joint Hyundai-Kia board that meets regularly through the year. And some very similar products – such as the Hyundai Sante Fe and Kia Sorrento – are even produced in the exact same factories.

Both carmakers are part of the family-owned Hyundai conglomerate in South Korea, one of the largest such commercial entities in the world. Despite numerous legal challenges from the state government and union, Hyundai / Kia have persevered to become the world’s fifth largest automaker.

By Tristan Hankins



aaronbbrown said... »July 19, 2011

The new powerhouse on the block, who obviously have the competition in Japan, Europe and America running scared.

antmcgowan said... »July 20, 2011

Similar business model to Peugeot / Citroen, although arguably much more successful.

CaliDesigner said... »July 25, 2011

I just rented a Kia Forte Sedan this past week and I have to say it was a very good car. If I was in the small car market, it would be getting a strong consideration. Plus its not another Civic on the road. The quality was good for its class, the engine and sportmatic transmisson were great. Lots of room and big trunk. Drove very well even on gravel roads.

guest said... »July 25, 2011


Adrian Parker6 said... »July 30, 2011

looks very much like the uk ford mondeo from the back, some ford design connection me think

hyundai said... »August 20, 2011

ur an idiot, hyundai is amazing

Onepatrickjames said... »October 13, 2011

this is funny for me.  I was looking for someone to say they were having the same problems I had.  I bought 2 KIA's 3 to 4 years ago.  A Rio and a Sedona.  The Rio needed a new transmission from day one but was not replaced till 50,000 miles.  Now at 90,000 needs new plugs and wires and that is cool but they want 100 for each wire and plug.  BUT HERE IS MY PROBLEM and maybe what it is, is that the tech that works on the van keeps screwing with things to make them break.  I am literly replace every light on outside of the van.  Both headlampa, all 4 turn lights and both plate lights.  How can that be?  I want to love the KIA for price and warentee but when I get new cars, I think I will go back to Toyota or change to Honda.

sillyjilly said... »July 03, 2012

Funny I have a girlfriend that has put 4 Tranmissions in her Kia Rio.  So I have stayed clear of them.  Obviously I didn't do my homework too well.
We purchased a Santa Fe, we are pleased so far have a 10 yr warranty, but... warrantys that they give are not all what they are cracked up to be.  But on another note we were not impressed with the Ford Edge or Escape.

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