Kia announces accelerated electric vehicle (EV) transition with target of 1.6 million electric vehicle (EV) sales by 2030

Kia Corporation (Kia) today announced an update on its future strategies through the Kia CEO Investor Day event held in Seoul, Korea. Kia has updated its mid- to long-term business strategy with a focus on electrification. 

Kia’s updated 2030 annual sales target is 4.3 million units, of which 2.38 million units will be electrified vehicles. The financial targets have also been increased to KRW 160 trillion in gross revenue, 16 trillion won in operating profit and 10 per cent in operating profit margin.

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Kia first unveiled its mid- to long-term strategy entitled ‘Plan S’ in 2020, which focuses on a pre-emptive transformation towards an electric vehicle (EV) focused business and providing customised mobility solutions. Since then, Kia has held a CEO Investor Day every year to present updates on the company’s future vision and goals.

During the 2023 CEO Investor Day, Kia announced updated goals and specific details of its business strategy. Kia’s 2030 global sales target of 4.3 million units is 34.4 per cent higher than its 2023 annual sales target of 3.2 million units. 

It also plans to become a leading EV brand by raising the proportion of electrified car sales to 55 per cent (2.38 million units) in 2030. This is a 7.5 per cent (300,000 units) increase from the 2030 target announced in 2022, while the global sales target for electrified vehicles has increased by 15.5 per cent (320,000 units).

This is good news and shows that Kia are taking electric cars and electrification across its vehicles seriously. It’s the smart way of thinking with the ban on sales of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles happening in 2030 in the UK and 2035 in Europe. 

Ho Sung Song, Kia president and CEO, said: “In 2021, Kia went through a full-scale transformation of its corporate name, logo, product and design, as well as corporate strategy. As a result, our brand value has improved significantly, helping us to win a number of ‘Car of the Year’ awards in key markets.

“In order to become a Sustainable Mobility Solutions Provider, Kia needs to continue its efforts to strengthen the Kia brand identity and establish an innovative and customer-centric business model.”

Key within the refreshed sales targets, Kia increased its 2026 annual EV sales target to one million units and 2030 EV sales target to 1.6 million units annually, representing a 25 per cent increase and 33 per cent increase, respectively, from goals announced a year earlier.

The update is based on Kia’s confidence in its award-winning products. The EV6 won the ‘2022 European Car of the Year’ and ‘2023 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year.’ Kia now plans to build an EV line-up of 15 models by 2027, including the flagship model EV9 revealed recently. This is one more than the 14 models by 2027 announced a year earlier.

It will continue to implement new technologies on its product and apply connectivity features to all new models released after 2025. This allows customers to update and optimise vehicle performance through over-the-air (OTA) updates. 

Regarding autonomous driving technology, the EV9 will feature HDP (Highway Drive Pilot), a conditional level three autonomous driving technology, which allows the driver to operate the vehicle “hands-off” under specific conditions. In 2026, Kia plans to introduce HDP2 technology that will support “eyes-off” driving under certain conditions.

The 2023 CEO Investor Day event also provided a detailed blueprint for the purpose-built vehicle (PBV) business. The company plans to launch a mid-size dedicated PBV model in 2025 at a dedicated PBV production facility in Hwaseong. Kia will gradually build a full line-up of PBVs, ranging from small to large, including a robo-taxi with autonomous driving technology.

In addition, the company plans to commercialise data and software-based solutions to introduce customised products and services for the diverse needs of customers. Plus, develop mobility services in connection with Hyundai Motor Group’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) and robotics businesses.

Kia also aims to continue improving customers’ positive brand perception and competitiveness of its business to achieve mid-to-long term financial performance. The long-term financial goals include growing gross revenue to KRW 160 trillion in 2030, an 84 per cent increase from 2022; increasing operating profit to KRW 16 trillion, a 122 per cent improvement over 2022; and increasing operating profit margin to 10 per cent, a 1.6 per centage points uplift over 2022.

Kia also plans to continue to expand investment to secure future competitiveness. It plans to invest KRW 32 trillion over the next five years until 2027. In particular, Kia aims to increase the portion of investment in future businesses to 45 per cent.

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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