Kia, which had revealed its new logo on January 6, has announced new details of its new brand purpose and ambitions for the future during a digital event. In line with its new brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’, Kia today revealed new details of a strategy which will see the company go beyond vehicle manufacturing to create sustainable mobility solutions for customers.
Ho Sung Song, President and CEO of Kia Corporation, comments: “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. Today we start putting this vision into action with the launch of our new brand purpose and strategy for the future.”
New all-encompassing brand purpose
According to Artur Martins, senior vice president, head of global brand and customer experience, Kia, “Movement has always been at heart of our brand, and moving people at the core of our business. Movement helps humankind to constantly progress, improve, and evolve. That is why at Kia we believe that movement inspires ideas.”
Kia has been in the ‘movement’ industry for more than 75 years, and the company went on to create Korea’s first domestic bicycles and to manufacture motorcycles and delivery trucks. Today, Kia is one of the biggest automakers globally, providing high-value passenger vehicles to millions of people around the world.
Under its new brand purpose, Kia says it will meet changing customer expectations about how they move, and how their movement impacts the world around them. Consumers are increasingly seeking out flexible, environmentally conscious, and integrated forms of transportation.
Kia’s new brand strategy is to respond to – and shape – these changing expectations by developing a range of products and services to meet customers’ needs in markets around the globe. These will offer greater access to a wider range of environmentally conscious mobility products and services to meet growing demand from customers worldwide for flexible, customizable, individualized mobility solutions, enabled by data and new technologies.
Broader vision for sustainable mobility
Reflecting the brand’s broader vision for mobility and by removing the ‘Motors’ from its name, Kia’s new corporate name shows a commitment to its long-term ‘Plan S’ business strategy. This was announced in 2020, and will see the brand establish a leadership position in the future mobility industry, expanding its business to encompass EVs, mobility solutions and services, purpose-built vehicles, and more. Alongside these efforts, Kia will simultaneously promote more sustainable production through the usage of clean energy and recyclable materials.
Kia is focused on popularizing battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and 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, SUVs and MPVs across several segments, each incorporating industry-leading technology for long-range driving and high-speed charging from Hyundai Motor Group’s new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP).
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. Partnerships with the likes of Canoo and Arrival will mean Kia PBVs can offer different bodies mounted on top of an integrated modular ‘skateboard’ platform, tailored to users’ functional requirements.
Demand for PBVs is expected to grow five-fold by 2030 due to rapid and sustained growth in e-commerce and car-sharing services. Bespoke Kia PBVs will be tailored to meet the needs of corporate and fleet customers. For instance, these could include car-sharing vehicles, low-floor logistics vehicles, and delivery vehicles.
The change in the company’s corporate name also means transforming the organization’s working culture. President Song explained: “Changing our corporate name and logo is not only a cosmetic improvement. It represents us expanding our horizons and establishing new and emerging businesses that meet and exceed the diverse needs of our customers worldwide. More importantly, it also means adapting our working culture, enabling the creativity of all our employees and establishing an inspiring work environment.”
Development of eco-friendly mobility services
Another strategic objective under Plan S is a commitment by Kia to diversify its business to offer eco-friendly mobility services, centered on electric and autonomous driving across major global cities.
In addition, Kia is ramping up collaboration and partnerships with global mobility solutions businesses, diversifying mobility services in global strategic regions. In 2018, the company invested in Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing service, food delivery and payment solutions company; and in Ola in March 2019, an Indian company offering peer-to-peer ridesharing, ride-service hailing, taxi, food delivery and other mobility services.
Kia is also establishing other mobility services, including WiBLE, a car-sharing joint venture with Repsol, Spain’s major energy corporation, in Madrid. Launched in September 2018, WiBLE operates 500 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid EVs (PHEVs) through a free-floating method that allows users to freely rent and return vehicles within the service area. WiBLE remains one of Europe’s most successful shared mobility schemes, with over 130,000 members having registered since its inauguration. A new service, KiaMobility, was also launched in locations across Italy and Russia in September 2020, accelerating the company’s transformation to becoming a mobility solutions provider. KiaMobility is to be introduced to several new markets in the years ahead.
Kia to reveal first dedicated BEV in Q1 2021
The first of Kia’s next-generation BEVs will be revealed in the first quarter of 2021, embodying Kia’s shifting focus towards electrification. Based on new E-GMP technology, this dedicated BEV will boast a crossover-inspired design, while offering an electric driving range of over 500 kilometres 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.