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Kia rebrands itself as mobility solution developer

Kia’s Seoul headquarters bears its new logo. (Kia)
Kia’s Seoul headquarters bears its new logo. (Kia)

Kia announced Friday a new brand strategy and future ambitions to transform the company to go beyond vehicle manufacturing to create mobility solutions for customers.

In a digital showcase event on the company’s official YouTube channel, South Korea’s second-largest automaker announced a new corporate name removing “Motors” from its previous name of Kia Motors Corp.

This signals the brand breaking away from its traditional manufacturing-driven business model to expand into new and emerging business areas by creating innovative mobility products and services, the company 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,” Kia President and CEO Song Ho-sung said.

“Today we start putting this vision into action with the launch of our new brand purpose and strategy for the future.”

Highlighting that “movement” is the key that enables human progress, the carmaker introduced its new brand slogan, “Movement that inspires.”

By dropping “Motors” from its name, the new corporate identity shows the company’s commitment to the “Plan S” business strategy it announced in 2020, Kia said.

The company had previously revealed a newly designed logo with the shortened name.

The strategy outlines the company’s goals to gain a leadership position in the future mobility industry that encompasses electric vehicles, mobility solutions and purpose-built vehicles among others.

With its focus on electric vehicles, Kia said it plans to reinforce its global product lineup with the introduction of seven new dedicated battery electric vehicles by 2027.

The new models will include a range of passenger vehicles, sport utility vehicles and multipurpose vehicles across several segments, each incorporating industry-leading technologies for long-range driving and high-speed charging from Hyundai Motor Group’s new Electric-Global Modular Platform, Kia explained.

The next-generation battery electric vehicles for Kia will be revealed in the first quarter of this year. One new vehicle, which will be the first global model to bear Kia’s new logo, will offer an electric driving range of over 500 kilometers and a high-speed charging time of under 20 minutes, Kia said.

By 2025, Kia targets to take a 6.6 percent share of the global electric vehicle market, with global annual sales of 500,000 electric cars by 2026, the company said.

For corporate and fleet customers, Kia said it is also developing a range of new purpose-built vehicles, of which demand is expected to grow fivefold by 2030, due to rapid growth in ecommerce and car-sharing services.

Their purpose-built vehicles will be based on flexible “skateboard platforms” with modular bodies designed to meet specific mobility needs, the automaker added.

Under its Plan S, Kia said it is also committed to diversify its business to offer eco-friendly mobility services that are centered on electric and autonomous driving across major global cities.

To that end, Kia has invested in Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing service, food delivery and payment solutions company, as well as in Ola, an Indian company offering mobility services including peer-to-peer ride-sharing and ride-service hailing, in March 2019, the company added.

“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,” CEO Song said.

“More importantly, it also means adapting our working culture, enabling the creativity of all our employees and establishing an inspiring work environment.”

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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