Ford Motor Company helped put the world on wheels and along the way they have also helped out a few new comers. Both major players in the Korean marketplace have been helped by the blue oval and yet both companies are now competition for the blue oval.
Back in the 60's, Ford helped out Hyundai by licensing them for use of the manufacturing facilities, so that they could build products for the Asian marketplace. Japan was too costly and China had too much control on their market, so Korea seemed to be the hub for American manufacturing for the Asian marketplace. This marriage would soon change as Hyundai went out on their own in the late 70's.
Soon enough Kia would require some help to restart their automobile operations after industry consolidation. Having been working with Mazda already on building trucks for the Korean market, Ford stepped in to help reboot their automotive production. Being that Ford owned an interest in Mazda, this alliance was seen as benefit to all three companies.
Again this marriage wouldn't last as the Asian Financial Crisis set in and took a major hit on Kia Motors. Ford stepped up to take over the brand, as they had helped setup Kia in America and were still working with them on select models. But in the end the shareholders stood with their country as Hyundai Motor Company took over Kia Motors.
In the end it seems that Ford had made a poor choice in helping both major Korean players, but really was it. They may not have production in South Korea now, but with the opening of the Chinese market, Ford has managed to thrive in the Asian marketplace.
Thank you Ford for you help, even if did create a major automotive competitor.
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