Signaling the brand breaking away from its traditional manufacturing-driven business model, Kia has announced a new corporate name. Removing the ‘Motors’ from its name (previously ‘Kia Motors Corporation’), Kia will expand into new and emerging business areas by creating innovative mobility products and services to improve customers’ daily lives.
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.”
The ‘New Kia Brand Showcase’ can be viewed on the Kia Global YouTube channel from 09:00 Korean Standard Time on Friday January 15, 2021 (01:00 CET, January 15 / 16:00 PST, January 14): https://youtu.be/U67RlX9ibfo
Introducing Kia’s new brand purpose and slogan: ‘Movement that inspires’
Kia’s new brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’, is introduced today at the heart of a brand manifesto which reflects Kia’s new purpose of inspiring consumers through products and services, and their experiences with the brand.
Kia’s new brand purpose emphasizes that movement is at the genesis of human development. Movement enables people to see new places, to meet new people, and to have new experiences. This connection is the essence of Kia’s new brand – to enable human progress by providing innovative in-car spaces, exciting new products, and meaningful, convenient services that inspire customers and free up time for the activities that they enjoy the most.
Artur Martins, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Brand & Customer Experience at Kia, said “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 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.
Kia Corporation’s broader vision for sustainable mobility
Reflecting the brand’s broader vision for mobility, Kia has announced today a new corporate name as it expands into new business areas to promote sustainable mobility. 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 specialized 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 explains: “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 will be introduced to several new markets in the years ahead.
Coming soon: Kia’s first dedicated BEV and a new design philosophy
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 kilometers 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 will also reveal more information about the new design direction of its future products and services in the weeks ahead, with a new design philosophy which reflects the brand’s transformation.
Karim Habib, Senior Vice President, Head of Kia Global Design Center, explains: “We want our products to deliver an instinctive and natural experience that can improve the daily lives of our customers. Our aim is to design the physical experience of our brand and to create original, inventive, and exciting electric vehicles. The ideas of our designers and the purpose of the brand are more connected than ever, with our customers at the center of what we do.”