Some years ago, when Kia was first making inroads into the American car market, it seemed laughable that consumers could take a Korean automaker seriously.

But something changed since Kia dealerships sprouted up in the US in 1995. It has become a serious player among automakers, increasing market share each year of the last decade and overcoming Chrysler and Mazda.

Now Kia is introducing the Kia K900, a luxury sedan that aims to take on the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. My, how the brand has grown.

2015-Kia-K900How has the automaker, which also owns Hyundai, been able to overcome the initial perceptions to become an important choice in the US?

It addressed the hurdles head on. Its theme of “The Power to Surprise” is a direct answer to that hurdle, saying you’ll be surprised by what you see because of your misperceptions. To date, that has translated into cars and SUVs that meet market expectations.

Now comes the K900, which is a whole ‘nother matter. You’d think it wouldn’t have brand permission to sell a luxury car, and you might be right. But Kia has already shown it can overcome permission hurdles, so I’m not counting the automaker out.