Kia unveils roadmap for transformation, focusing on electric cars and mobility solutions

Kia has announced an update to its ‘Plan S’ strategy for its future business at the 2021 CEO Investor Day, which was held digitally today in Seoul. The ambitious update to its mid-to-long-term roadmap was presented by Ho Sung Song, President and CEO of Kia Corporation.

President Song, CEO of Kia Corporation, said: “Kia is being reborn in 2021 with a new logo, new design and new corporate name. Kia will transform into a brand that excites and inspires customers with innovative mobility experiences.”

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The Kia transformation takes the company toward a broader business portfolio to redefine the entire mobility ecosystem, starting with the transition from the internal combustion engine (ICE) to electrification. The renewed ‘Plan S’ strategy is underpinned by three core pillars including advancing electric vehicle (EV) transition, strengthening purpose-built vehicle (PBV) business and expanding future mobility services.

Advancing Electric Vehicle Transition

One of Kia’s main transformations over the coming years is that they are aiming to have 40 percent of all its sales from battery electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, with an annual sales target of 1.6 million units. As part of this, Kia aims to grow battery electric vehicles sales to 880,000 units in 2030 and become a top global seller.

Starting with the launch of its first dedicated electric vehicle later this year, Kia will strengthen its electric lineup by 2026 with 11 new models. This includes seven dedicated battery electric vehicles built on the brand’s Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) architecture, and four based on existing ICE derivatives.

Electric vehicles built on E-GMP aim to set new benchmarks in all-electric range, driving performance, interior space and technical application. The electric vehicles will function as smart devices with expanded application of Audio Video Navigation Telematics (AVNT), Over-the-Air (OTA) and Feature on Demand (FoD) services.

The first dedicated electric vehicle from Kia, codenamed CV, will be featured with HDA2 (Highway Driving Assist Level 2) technology. Starting in 2023, Kia electric vehicles will be equipped with Highway Driving Pilot (HDP), a crucial autonomous driving Level 3 development. Further product details and performance specifications for the CV will be revealed next month.

Strengthening PBV business

Kia will unveil its first purpose-built vehicle (PBV) in 2022. These are vehicles designed for a specific application, like last-mile delivery, autonomous shuttles, and chauffeur-driven luxury vehicles. The company is targeting annual sales of one million units by 2030 to become a world leader in PBVs. Kia will develop a variety of specialised vehicles based on its PBV-dedicated skateboard platforms.

Kia plans to further expand its PBV business through open innovation by cooperating with other companies to develop micro/large board platforms for unmanned delivery and e-commerce sectors. The company will also advance its own highly scalable small board platforms and technologies since the company expects market demand for these services to increase globally.

Expanding future mobility services

Kia’s mobility services will gain a competitive edge by carefully targeting and focusing on core areas. In the business-to-consumer domain, Kia will expand existing services.

In Spain, the company’s flagship car-sharing service Wible will be expanded with Wible Más and Wible Empresas (tentatively named). The car user service ‘KiaMobility’ which was launched in September last year as a pilot project in Italy and Russia, will also launch in additional European markets.

In the business-to-government and business-to-business, Kia will launch an electric vehicle-based service that combines subscription and car-sharing. Under this new mobility service concept, vehicles will be used for business on weekdays and rented by individuals on the weekends.

Kia’s subscription program ‘Kia Flex’, which was introduced in Korea in 2019, will launch a global version later this year under the name ‘Kia Subscription.’ The service will be operated by Sixt Leasing, which was acquired by Hyundai Motor Group last year, and the vehicles will be provided by the company’s regional affiliates and dealers.

Ian Osborne
Ian Osborne
Editor-in-Chief at ElectricDrives

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