Kia K360 Model History and Photos
We love publishing our Throwback Thursday/Flashback Friday featurettes here on the Friendly Kia blog, but we’re aware that the subject itself is ephemeral. At some point, we’re going to run out of old Kia vehicles to talk about. Our Friendly Kia internet, Dale Rickey, suggested making up Kia models but this is an honest racket and you deserve the best.
We’re opening with that because there’s a good chance you won’t believe the subject of today’s Flashback Friday is a real vehicle. You may even think the few images we found of this vehicle are the products of some of our worst trips into the Photoshop Chamber here at Friendly Kia and we don’t blame you.
We’d like to introduce, the Kia K360, a three-wheel truck that was produced by Mazda for Kia and featured a pickup truck bed with a motorcycle-esque cab. Check out the photo gallery below where all two images on Instagram have been imported for your viewing pleasure.
Kia K360 Model History
The K360 was Kia’s first venture into the world of three- and four-wheeled automation. Having been born in 1944 as Kyungsung Precision Industry and focusing on bicycle parts, Kia Precision Industries became the new face of the company in 1952. Along with the name change, Kia began to “badge engineer” Honda motorcycles and Mazda trucks around this time.
[READ MORE: What Does Kia’s Name Mean?]
The Kia K360 was the first truck produced and competed directly with postwar European three-wheeled trucks like the iconic Piaggio Ape.
The goal was to give rural truck drivers and farmers access to a cost-effective and versatile vehicle that could solve a range of transportation questions unique to their industry and society. As a badge-engineered version of the Mazda K360, Kia’s model could adjust the truck platform that best matched the local needs of the Korean market as opposed to the Japanese market which Mazda served.
Kia’s history with Mazda would continue into cars with Kia badge-engineering vehicles like the Mazda Familia (called the Kia Brisa – you can read about that here). Aside from sharing platforms with their strange bedfellows, Hyundai, Kia now manufacturers and engineers every vehicle on their lineup and has done so for decades.
[READ MORE ABOUT KIA AND HYUNDAI’S STRANGE RELATIONSHIP HERE]
Will Kia Ever Bring Back the K360?
But seriously, 100% no.