New EV starts Kia

transformation

Kia electric crossover, 2021, front
Kia electric crossover, 2021, side

KOREAN car maker Kia has announced more details about its plans for the future and has revealed the first of its new generation models will be an all-electric crossover SUV.

Due to be revealed in the next few months, the new model will have a range of more than 300 miles and a high-speed charging time of under 20 minutes.

It will sit on Kia's new E-GMP platform developed in conjunction with sister company Hyundai which itself has revealed plans for an all-electric crossover called the Ioniq 5.

The new Kia model is one of seven new electric vehicles it will be launching by 2027 and is part of its Plan S strategy for sustainable mobility.

Details of the new crossover are being kept under wraps at the moment and all that has been released are shadowy images seen at a presentation in Korea.

Last week Kia showed off a new logo as part of the strategy and the company has now announced it will be changing its corporate name to Kia from Kia Motors.

It says it plans to expand into new and emerging business areas by creating innovative mobility products and services to improve customers' daily lives.

Ho Sung Song, president and chief executive of the Kia Corporation, said: "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."

Under its new brand purpose of Movement to Inspire, Kia says it will meet changing customer expectations about how they move, and how their movement impacts the world around them as 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.

The company 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 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.

With a growing range of BEVs, Kia is targeting a 6.6 per cent share of the global BEV market by 2025, and global annual sales of 500,000 BEVs by 2026.

Kia says it will 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 and head of Kia's Global Design Centre, said: "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 centre of what we do."

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