From the 1960s to early 2000s, political and economic forces impacted the growth and development of the South Korean carmakers, including Hyundai and Kia Motors. In addition, the brands at times partnered for technology with Ford, Mazda, and Mitsubishi, along with world class designers like Giorgetto Giugiaro. Expanding rapidly the Korean brands soon looked to new international markets, including the U.S.
Despite the failure of Kia Motors to survive the IMF Crisis, the merger with Hyundai led to integrated technology research, development, and manufacturing-- not to mention the economies of scale needed for the Korean automaker to compete globally with industry heavyweights such as Toyota, Ford, GM, and VW.
Car models discussed including the Kia’s Brisa, Pride, Sephia, Sportage, and Rio along with Hyundai’s Pony, Excel and Santa Fe.