1976 Kia Brisa S1000 기아 브리사

1976 Kia Brisa S1000 기아 브리사
kia used cars
Image by InSapphoWeTrust
Kia Motors is South Korea’s oldest automotive manufacturer, dating back to bicycle production in the 1940s. It partnered with Honda to build motorcycles from the 1950s, and by the 1960s, building a Mazda 3-wheeled truck, gathered quite a bit of automotive know-how.

Kia again partnered with Mazda, and starting in 1974, license-produced the Mazda Familia, renaming the car Brisa. Kia was able to use its accumulated know-how to produce most of the components in-house; the 1976 Brisa had 89% Korean content.

The Brisa was well-regarded, especially popular as a taxicab, but production had to stop in 1981 after 31,017 units, thanks to a new government policy, of another military dictator Chun Doo-hwan, which required Kia to become a light truck manufacturer (and in return, force its competitors to give up light trucks), in the name of reducing redundancy in the national economy. The policy was lifted in 1987, at which time Kia returned to passenger cars with the Pride, based on the Mazda 121; the Pride was exported to the US as the Ford Festiva and was very well regarded.

Prior to the forced 1981 shutdown, Kia rounded out its passenger car lineup with two other foreign models assembled under license: the Fiat 132 and the Peugeot 604.

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