Kia Motors headquartered in Seoul, is South Korea's second-largest automobile manufacturer, following the Hyundai Motor Company, with sales of over 1.4 million vehicles in 2010. The company is partly owned by the Hyundai Motor Group, the fourth largest automaker in the world based on annual vehicle sales in 2010 after Toyota, General Motors, and Volkswagen AG. Since August 2009, the company has been led by Hyoung-Keun (Hank) Lee. The word Kia derives from Korean words meaning 'to arise to the world from Asia'. According to Kia Motors, the name 'Kia' derives from the Sino-Korean words ki ('to come out') and a (which stands for Asia), it is roughly translated as 'arise or come up out of Asia' or 'rising out of Asia'. South Korea's oldest car company, Kia was founded on June 9, 1944 as a manufacturer of steel tubing and bicycle parts by hand and has operated as one of the country's Chaebols since. In 1951 Kia began building complete bicycles.
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