Kia Motor Corporation, headquartered in Seoul, is South Korea's second-largest automobile manufacturer, following the Hyundai Motor Company, with sales of over 3.3 million vehicles in 2015. As of December 2015, the Kia Motor Corporation is minority owned by Hyundai, which owns a 33.88% stake valued at just over $6 billion USD. Kia in turn is a minority owner of more than twenty Hyundai subsidiaries ranging from 4.9% up to 45.37% totaling more than $8.3 billion USD.
Kia Motors Corporation (KMC), founded in 1944, is South Korea's oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles and is now a subsidiary of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group. Over 1.5 million vehicles a year are produced in 13 manufacturing and assembly operations in eight countries. These are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering 172 countries. Kia today has 40,000 full-time employees worldwide and annual revenues of over US$14.6 billion. Kia Motors Corporation's brand slogan is "The Power to Surprise". From August 2009 until December 2012, the company has been led by Hyoung-Keun (Hank) Lee.Beginning in 2006 Kia identified design as its "core future growth engine" – leading to the 2006 hiring of Peter Schreyer and to the 2005 hiring Tom Kearns as Chief Design Officer. Schreyer had previously worked at Audi (designing the Audi TT) and Volkswagen and had won the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany. Kearns had previously worked at Cadillac as Chief Design Officer and was responsible for influencing Cadillac's direction of hard angles and sharp lines within their design.
Schreyer has since been central to a complete restyling of Kia's lineup, overseeing design activities at Kia's design centers in Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and the Namyang Design Center in South Korea.
With the Kee concept vehicle, shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2007, Kia introduced a new corporate grille to create a recognizable 'face' for the brand. Known as the Tiger Nose, Schreyer indicated he wanted "a powerful visual signal, a seal, an identifier. The front of a car needs this recognition, this expression. A car needs a face and I think the new Kia face is strong and distinctive. Visibility is vital and that face should immediately allow you to identify a Kia even from a distance." Schreyer described how the Kia Tiger Nose came to be as he explained, "I was just working on the car and just thinking about different possibilities, and suddenly I found it." Commenting on the new signature grille in 2009: "From now on, we'll have it on all our cars". Kia has since featured the Tiger Nose on all of their vehicles, ranging from the compact Kia Soul, on to the edgy new design of the Kia Optima, and to the larger SUV, the Kia Sorento.
Kia cars have won the International Car of the Year award every year since 2013.
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