Journal Search Engine
Search Advanced Search Adode Reader(link)
Download PDF Export Citaion korean bibliography PMC previewer
ISSN : 2233-4165(Print)
ISSN : 2233-5382(Online)
Journal of Industrial Distribution & Business Vol.9 No.9 pp.45-52

The Endless Challenges of KIA Motors for Globalization : A Case Study on Kia in Saudi Arabia

Young-Eun Park*
* This paper was represented at 2017 International Fall Conference of Korean Academy of International Business (KAIB) supported by Prince Sultan University, November 4, 2017 in Korea, and then faithfully revised.
** Assistant Professor, Management Department, College of Business Administration, Prince Sultan University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Tel: +966-11-494-8564, E-mail:
August 15, 2018 September 04, 2018 September 15, 2018


Purpose – This case study is dedicated to the study of the presence of KIA Motors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and its market and entry strategies for strategic globalization that allowed the company to establish itself within a conservative and clustered marketplace dominated by American and Japanese international brands.
Research Design, data, and methodology – The main information for the case was gathered through an interview and questionnaire from the executives of the KIA Al Jabr, which got the exclusive dealership in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, secondary data were obtained from reliable and authoritative sources such as the Saudi government agency publications, newspapers, international business journals. Other related periodicals based on the results from previous and current studies on similar topics were critically reviewed as well.
Results – The findings of this paper show the different business environments of the Saudi market and the importance of various points regarding the company’s global entry strategy even if the host market culture is quite different in many ways from other international markets.
Conclusions – This case can provide Korean companies interested in the Middle East with insight into market penetration and global strategy, and present various perspectives and implications for global market access as well.

JEL Classifications: D39, D81, F23, N45, N75.


    Prince Sultan University




    1. Alasdair S. (2018). How business environmental factors influence strategy. Retrieved from
    2. Abdel-Rahman, A. (2002). Determinants of foreign direct investment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Economic Research Forum, ERF Working Paper No. 0238, Cairo.
    3. Agarwal, S., & Ramaswami, S. (1992). Choice of foreign entry mode: Impact of ownership, location, and internalization factors. Journal of International Business Studies, 23(1), 1-27.
    4. Barney, J. B., & Hesterly, W. S. (2013). Strategic management and competitive advantage: Concepts and cases. LD: Pearson.
    5. Bartlett C. A. & S. Ghoshal (1989). Managing Across Borders: The Transnational Solution. Harvard Business School Press.
    6. Charles W.L. Hill (2014). International Business: Competing in the Marketplace. McGraw Hill Education.
    7. Chung, M. K. (2014). Chung Ju Yung and Hyundai. Handbook of East Asian Entrepreneurship, Routledge and CRC Press. Retrieved from
    8. Choo, M. (2016). KIA News center. KIA Motors Rises to 69th in Interband’s 2016 Global Brands Report. Retrieved from motors-rises-to-69th-in-interbrand-s-2016-best-global-brands-report/s/c1f7a610-b1f4-444a-abb9-f94b7943bc1f
    9. Dunning, J. H. (1981). International Production and Multinational Enterprise. London: Allen Un-win.
    10. Dunning, J. H. (1988). The eclectic paradigm of international production: A restatement and some possible extensions. Journal of International Business Studies, 19(1), 1-31.
    11. Jeddah Chamber (2015). Foreign Direct Investment in Saudi Arabia. Retrieved May 22, 2018, from http://www.JEG.ORG.SA
    12. Kavoossi, M. (2000). The globalization of business and the Middle East: Opportunities and constraints. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.
    13. Kwak, Y. A. (2017). Case study on Driver’s Liability in cargo transit. International Journal of Industrial Distribution & Business, 8(6), 25-31.
    14. Kogut, B., & Singh, H. (1990). The mechanism of internationalization. International Marketing Review, 7(1), 11-24.
    15. Park, Y. E. (2017). Dynamics of Global Distribution after Initial Entry. Journal of Distribution Science, 15(12), 5-19.
    16. Park, Y. E. (2017). KIA MOTORS: Global Strategies in Saudi Arabia. 12th international Fall Conference of KAIB 2017, in Seoul, Korea.
    17. Park, Y. E., Alawiya A., & Raneem A. (2017). Determinants of Entry Modes Choice for MNEs: Exploring Major Challenges and Implications for Saudi Arabia. 1st AUE international Research Conference, in Dubai UAE, Springer.
    18. Rocha, M. (2016). KIA News center. KIA Middle East and Africa Collaborates with Google and Al Jabr Automotive to launch the new Sorento. Retrieved from
    19. Ronald J. E., & Ricky W. G. (2016). Business Essentials. LD: Pearson.
    20. Umar F. (2018). Environmental Factors affect business. Retrieved May 22, 2018 from environmental-factors-affect-business/
    21. Voelcker, J. (2014). Billion Vehicles On World's Roads Now, 2 Billion By 2035: Report. Car Green Reports. Retrieved May 22, 2018 from 2-billion-by-2035-report
    22. Williams, J; Peterson, T. (2016). Autoparts top markets. International Trade Administration. U.S Department of Commerce.
    23. William G. N., James M. M., & Susan M. M. (2016). Understanding Business. McGrawHill Education.
    24. Wikivisual (2016). KIA Motors Company. Retrieved May 22, 2018 from Company/wiki_ph_id_131.
    25. Youn, M. K., & Kim, N. M. (2014). Global Distribution Enterprises' Entry into the Chinese Market: Focus on the Three Northeastern Provinces. International Journal of Industrial Distribution & Business, 5(3), 25-34.