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Kia to begin EV9 production in 1st half of this year

South Korean automaker to add all-electric sedan to its portfolio in 2024

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : Feb. 24, 2023 - 16:40

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Kia's concept EV9 (Kia) Kia's concept EV9 (Kia)

Kia, South Korea’s second-largest automaker under Hyundai Motor Group, will begin production of EV9 -- a large electric sport utility vehicle -- in the first half of this year, according to officials Friday.

The Korean Metal Workers’ Union said Kia’s labor union and management finally came to an agreement on the production plan earlier this week after the two sides began negotiations to discuss the automaker’s EV manufacturing strategy and future employment security in April last year.

According to the agreement, the Kia EV9 will be produced at the company’s Gwangmyeong factory in Gyeonggi Province. The large EV SUV is expected to officially launch for preorders in April.

The automaker is also going to add EV production lines at the Gwangmyeong site to produce two more new EVs next year. The new EVs, which will be small and medium-sized cars, have been designated as projects "CT" and "SV." Industry watchers expect the projects to be the EV3 and EV4, as Kia keeps the name EV for its electric vehicles.

The automaker plans to begin production of a new EV SUV named "OV" at its southwestern Gwangju factory in 2025. The OV is being developed to target the Chinese market, according to the company.

The agreement between the labor union and management reaffirmed Kia’s plan to build a new factory in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province. The construction will mark Kia’s first new plant in the country since 1997.

The new factory will be for producing electric purpose-built vehicles. The automaker will begin operation of the new factory in July 2025 and gradually expand its production capacity to 200,000 units a year. The electric PBVs include unmanned subcompact cars for delivery and robot taxis.

Kia previously unveiled its plan to release at least two new EVs every year to expand its EV model list to 14 by 2027 at an investor’s event held in March last year.