Kia Anniversary – What happened in 2004? November 14th, 2017
Q: What are some memorable moments from 2004?
In August 2004, Kia launched the second generation Sportage, packed with upgrades for the 21st century. The 2004 Sportage was built with millennials in mind – its design and performance fulfilling their much more sophisticated requirements.
Unlike its predecessor, the second generation Sportage featured a monocoque body structure, meaning that the chassis was one with the body, bringing greater comfort to the vehicle as a whole.
Being known as the most fuel-efficient SUV in South Korea at the time, the 2004 Sportage was also recognized for its quality and safety by renowned organizations including J.D. Power, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and many others. Continuing the legacy of the urban SUV, the second generation Sportage had a long run of six years before the introduction of the enhanced version in 2010.
Throughout 2004, Kia’s global production footprint grew wider and stronger. Kia opened its first European plant in Zilina, Slovakia and signed an investment agreement for its second plant in Yancheng, China.
Commencing operations in 2004, Kia’s Zilina plant plays a pivotal role as the base camp for Kia’s European expansion. Producing three popular models, the Sportage, cee’d line-up and Venga, the Zilina plant also produces gasoline and diesel engines, continuing to be instrumental in Kia’s growth and success in Europe.
The Yancheng Plant also serves as the platform for our expansion into China, manufacturing 890,000 high-quality models annually that are specifically designed for the needs of Chinese customers. As one of the biggest Kia factories in the world, the Yancheng plant produces top-selling models like the Soul, Optima, Sportage and Cerato (also known as Kia forte in some markets) for the local China market.
Milestones like these are what make Kia a highly respected and trusted automotive brand – constantly striving to find a better way to surprise the world. Tune in next time for more important Kia history highlights!