Elaborative SWOT Analysis of Kia – South Korea’s Second-Largest Vehicle Producer After Hyundai

Updated on: Sep 3, 2023
SWOT Analysis of Kia - Featured Image

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We have previously written an outright SWOT analysis article on the parent company of Kia named Hyundai. This time we are back with another article on the SWOT analysis of Kia.

Kia Corporation is a South Korean international vehicle producer centred in Seoul, South Korea. It is South Korea’s second-largest vehicle producer after Hyundai Motor Company. Kia inspires Millions of people worldwide with its bold and sleek designs of cars. 

The reason Kia captured the market of India so fastly is their effective marketing moves, they always connected their moves with inspirational movements. One more amazing fact is that Kia is one of the most searched terms on google according to keywords everywhere extension. 

Digital marketing has played a major role in the success of Kia. And keeping yourself upgraded with the latest digital marketing trends by attending the Free MasterClass on Digital Marketing 101, hosted by Karan Shah, CEO and Founder of IIDE is very important. Book your seat now.

Now, right before we delve into the SWOT Analysis of Kia, let’s look at the background of the company, its founders, financial status, competitors and products.  

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About Kia

SWOT Analysis of Kia - Kia’s Advertising Campaign 2019
(Kia’s Advertising Campaign 2019, Source: GaadiKey) 

Founded 77 years ago by the parent company Hyundai Motor Group – Kia Motors Corp (Kia) is a vehicle producer that manufactures and markets a huge form of motors, consisting of game SUVs, MPVs, passenger automobiles, and business motors. 

The organization additionally includes leasing motors and automobile preservation offerings. It sells those motors through a community of vendors and dealers. The organization operates inside the US, Canada, Europe, Germany, the UK, France, Spain, Austria, Sweden, Belgium, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland, and Australia.

Quick Stats on Kia
Founder Kim Cheol-ho
Year Founded 1944
Origin South Korea
No. of Employees 52,488
Company Type Public
Market Cap KRW 33,726,230 Million
Annual Revenue KRW 52.713 Trillion
Net Income/ Profit KRW 2.755 Trillion

SWOT Analysis of Kia - Kia Range of Cars

Products by Kia

  • Automobiles
  • Commercial Vehicles 

What’s new with Kia

Check out some current news about Kia:

  • Kia is introducing the 2023 KIA Seltos Edition – Where Style Meets Adventure!
  • Over 30,000 bookings are made for 2023 Seltos in just one month, says Kia
  • Kia enhances digital play by enabling customers to make purchases online.

Now let us have a look at the target audience of Kia.

Target Audience of Kia

No matter their age, the youthful-at-heart customer is our primary target market in India. For instance, a working professional who wants to keep up with the competition spends time on various cutting-edge platforms to obtain information and is interested in trying out new technologies in cars.

Here is a buyer persona of Kia:

Buyer’s Persona


Sumit Singh




30 years




  • Modern features 
  • Advanced technology
  • Simplify her daily commute and weekend getaways
  • Can accommodate her family and friends

Interest & Hobbies

  • Reading
  • Playing cricket
  • Gardening
  • Cooking
  • Shopping
  • Trekking

Pain Points

  • Limited parking spaces 
  • Slow website and confusing process.
  • Traffic congestion
  • Fuel expenses

Social Media Presence

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Youtube
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Quora

Now that we understand the company’s key business, let’s look at the SWOT Analysis of Kia.

SWOT Analysis of Kia

SWOT Analysis of Kia can show how a well-established company uses its opportunities to ensure its growth. It can show how the company takes advantage of its strengths to use the opportunities while working on its weaknesses. SWOT Analysis of Kia will also reveal its expansion plans.

To better understand the SWOT analysis of Kia, refer to the infographic below:

SWOT Analysis of Kia - SWOT Infographics of Kia

Now first let’s begin with the strengths of the company from the SWOT analysis of Kia.

Strengths of Kia

  • Product Portfolio: Kia Motors has a vast commodity portfolio with various offers in categories like sedans, coupes, sports cars, passenger cars, SUVs, and crossovers. Some of their brands are Optima, Forte, Sedona, Cadenza, Sorento, and Niro.
  • Brand Value: Kia is a loved brand across the world with an approximate value of 6.7 billion USD which is up by 6.7 % from the prior years. The brands from the company have also consistently been in the top 50 car brands of the world.
  • Positioning: Kia positions their cars as vehicles that can provide driving experiences that exceed customer expectations. Their cars are also exceptional in terms of styling and achievement.
  • Hybrid Cars: Kia Motors has inaugurated the hybrid version of their variants Cadenza and Optima, both popular brands globally. They are distinguished by regenerative braking systems and EV drive modes.
  • Innovation: Kia Motors has not just been creative in the design and styling of their cars but has also been involved in a lot of research on alternative energy vehicle options such as hybrid cars, hydrogen cell power-powered electric cars and plug-in hybrids.
  • Reliable Suppliers: It has a strong base of reliable suppliers of raw materials thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.

Weaknesses of Kia

  • Rental Charges: A high percentage of the estate in use by Kia Motors is on rent, and rental charges are required to be paid.
  • R&D: Low percentages of spending on research and development as compared to the competition.
  • Employee Turnover Rate: It has a high employee turnover rate, with low employee enthusiasm and working confidence.
  • Liquidity Issues: It has liquidity problems with a low quick ratio; the level of recent assets is less than recent liabilities. It also encounters cash flow problems.
  • Diversification in the Workforce: The workforce at Kia Motors is analyzed with mostly local workers and low amounts of workers from other ethnical backgrounds. Lack of diversification makes it difficult for employees from different ethnical backgrounds to adapt to the workplace, leading to loss of talent.
  • Legal Experience: Lack of legal experience and legal office employees are not highly qualified.

Opportunities for Kia

  • Internet: There has been a boost in the number of Internet users all over the world. This means that there is an alternative for Kia Motors to broaden its presence online; by using the internet to interact with its buyers.
  • E-commerce: There has been a new trend and a growth in sales of the e-commerce industry. This implies that a lot of people are now making investments online. Kia Motors can earn income by unlocking online stores and making sales through these.
  • Social Media: There has been an improvement in the number of social media users worldwide. Kia Motors can use social media to expand its products, interact with customers, and collect feedback from them.

SWOT Analysis of Kia - Kia Stats

Did You Remember? In the introduction, we shared one amazing fact “Kia has achieved one of the most searched terms on Google”. The above statistic of the booming waves from 2004 to 2020 is the proof.

Can you imagine that most of the percentage of Kia sales are coming from Google? Yes because Kia is consistently improving its digital marketing strategies such as WordPress website content, SEO, social media marketing, e-commerce, and online reputation. You can check Kia’s official website as an example of how appealing, attractive & fast loading their website is. 

Believe us, learning these digital marketing skills is more beneficial than it appears. Big companies like Kia are frequently looking for professionals who can boost their digital marketing game in the market.              

  • Technological Developments: Technology succeeds with numerous advantages among many departments. Operations can be automated to diminish costs. Technology enables better data to be obtained from customers and improves trading accomplishments.
  • Disposable Income: There has been a gain in average household income along with an increase in consumer spending following the recession. This will result in growth in Kia Motors’ target market with new customers that can be tempted towards the company.
  • Population: The population has been growing and is anticipated to grow at a positive rate in the upcoming years. This is beneficial for Kia Motors as there will be an increase in the number of possible customers that it can target.

Threats to Kia

  • Technological Developments by Competitors: New technological developments by a few competitors within the industry pose a threat to Kia Motors. Buyers attracted to this new technology can be lost to competitors, reducing Kia Motors’ overall market share.
  • Suppliers: The bargaining power of suppliers has increased over the years with the decrease in the number of suppliers. This means that the costs of inputs could increase for Kia Motors.
  • New Entrants: There have been various players that have entered the market and are gaining market share by gaining the existing company’s market share. This is a threat to Kia Motors as it can lose its buyers to these new entrants.
  • Increasing Competition: There has been an increase in competition within the industry putting downward pressure on rates. This could lead to reduced earnings for Kia Motors if it adjusts to the price differences, or loss of market share if it doesn’t.
  • Exchange Rate: The exchange rate maintains a varying rate and this affects a company like Kia Motors that has sales internationally, while its suppliers are regional.

Marketing plans and tactics affect a brand’s image. Here let us check out any brand campaign or strategy that faced any failure or customer backlash:

Failed Campaign

What was the issue?

On January 6th, 2021, KIA unveiled its rebranding, demonstrating its commitment to embracing change for the future through a new brand logo and a worldwide brand tagline.

 The new logo incorporates features representing symmetry, rhythm, and movement and is ideally aligned with the company’s devotion to customer service. The logo is accompanied by a new motivational slogan: “Movement That Inspires.”

However, a problem has emerged with the new logo as it has changed from being instantly recognizable to becoming less so, leaving customers finding it difficult to recognize the KIA brand. People are confusing KIA’s new logo for “KN”.

To address the issue, the company launched a keyword campaign, rather than focusing simply on driving conversions, KIA is utilizing this campaign to promote education and awareness. When visitors search for keywords connected to “KN,” they will see an intriguing ad from KIA that is geared to deliver useful information.

Now before we conclude the study on the SWOT Analysis of Kia let us have a look at the competitors of Kia.

Competitors of Kia

  • Toyota is a well-known Japanese carmaker noted for its dependability, fuel efficiency, and diverse vehicle lineup. Toyota is a big competitor for KIA due to its innovative technologies and global reach.
  • Honda is another well-known Japanese carmaker known for delivering well-built and fuel-efficient vehicles. Honda competes directly with KIA because of its varied selection and emphasis on performance and efficiency.
  • Nissan is renowned for its revolutionary technology, such as the Nissan Leaf, which is one of the world’s best-selling electric vehicles. Because of the company’s dedication to sustainability and cutting-edge design, it competes directly with KIA in several market areas.
  • Subaru is well-known and popular with both families and outdoor enthusiasts. The brand’s commitment to a safe and dedicated customer base makes it a powerful opponent for KIA.
  • Tesla is at the vanguard of the electric vehicle revolution, developing high-performance electric vehicles noted for their speed, range, and revolutionary innovations. Tesla’s commitment to sustainability and autopilot capabilities has rocked the automotive industry, positioning the company as a significant challenger to established automakers such as KIA. Tesla‘s market position offers hurdles for KIA and other firms looking to increase their EV offerings as demand for electric vehicles grows.

This ends our thorough SWOT analysis of Kia. Let us conclude our learning below.

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To Conclude

The motor production organisation of KIA Motors Corporation has developed several elements to increase their commercial enterprise horizon. They made numerous improvements in layout, styling in addition to capabilities to offer the most reliable first-rate of offerings to their clients internationally.

Kia has a strong grasp over traditional marketing and digital marketing, the scope to utilise the big umbrella of digital marketing is even bigger. As we said in the middle of the article, gaining the requisite skills in this field and completing certified courses may lead to employment opportunities with famous corporations such as Kia.

Just like IIDE offers a 3 Month Advanced Online Course in Digital Marketing which includes all requisites and areas of digital marketing. The course is taught by subject area experts and digital enthusiasts. The course curriculum is curated and fine-tuned with the help of their know-how and experience. Their knowledge and expertise are instrumental in moulding our students into skilled professionals of the future.

We hope this blog on the SWOT analysis of Kia has given you a good insight into the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

If you enjoy in-depth company research just like the SWOT analysis of Kia, check out our IIDE Knowledge portal for more fascinating case studies.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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