Kia has revealed a strategy it says will see the Korean car maker reach beyond vehicle manufacturing to “sustainable mobility solutions”.
Signalling this break-away from its traditional manufacturing-driven business model, Kia has also announced a new corporate name and slogan.
Removing the ‘Motors’ from its name – previously Kia Motors Corporation – Kia says it will expand into “new and emerging business areas by creating innovative mobility products and services to improve customers’ daily lives”.
Kia’s new slogan is ‘Movement that inspires’.
“At Kia, we believe that transportation, mobility, and movement represent a human right. Our vision is to create sustainable mobility solutions for consumers, communities, and societies globally,” says Kia Corporation president and CEO Ho Sung Song.
Kia believes consumers are increasingly seeking out flexible, environment-conscious and integrated forms of transportation.
The auto maker says its new brand strategy is to respond to – and shape – these changing expectations by developing a range of products and services to meet customer needs in markets around the globe.
This will see the brand expand its business to encompass battery electric vehicles (BEVs), mobility solutions and services, purpose-built vehicles, and more.
Alongside these efforts, Kia aims to promote more sustainable production through the use of clean energy and recyclable materials.
As part of this effort, the Korean car maker plans to reinforce its global product line-up with the introduction of seven new dedicated BEVs by 2027.
These new models will include a range of passenger vehicles, sports-utility vehicles and multipurpose vehicles across several segments, each incorporating technology for long-range driving and high-speed charging from Hyundai Motor Group’s new electric-global modular platform (E-GMP).
The first of Kia’s next-generation BEVs will be revealed in the first quarter of this year.
Based on new E-GMP technology, this dedicated BEV will boast a crossover-inspired design, while offering an electric driving range of more than 500 km and a high-speed charging time of under 20 minutes.
This will also be the first global model to bear Kia’s new logo.
With its growing range of BEVs, Kia is targeting a 6.6% share of the global BEV market by 2025, and global annual sales of 500 000 BEVs by 2026.
Kia is also developing a range of new purpose-built vehicles (PBVs) for corporate customers.
These specialised vehicles will be based on flexible skateboard platforms, with modular bodies designed to meet the specific mobility needs of a broad range of corporate and fleet customers.
These could include car-sharing vehicles, low-floor logistics vehicles, and delivery vehicles.
Demand for PBVs is expected to grow five-fold by 2030 owing to rapid and sustained growth in e-commerce and car-sharing services, says Kia.
Kia Motors South Africa says it cannot comment at this stage on when it will introduce the first Kia BEV in South Africa.
“Locally, we actively participate in the dialogue between the automotive industry and government to address matters of policy and incentives to support and accelerate electric vehicle adoption, but it is unlikely for us to take any major steps towards electrification in South Africa until all stumbling blocks are addressed.”
These stumbling blocks include high import taxes on BEVs.