Kia recently announced an update to its Plan S business strategy during its CEO Investor Day event on February 9, 2021, with company president and CEO Ho Sung Song on hand to provide the details.
“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,” said Song.
The main highlight here is electrification, with Kia planning to have 11 new EVs in its line-up by 2026 – a year earlier than previously announced. From that figure, seven will be built on Hyundai Motor Group’s Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) architecture, while the remaining four are based on existing internal combustion engine derivatives.
These models will play a vital role in Kia’s goal to increase EV sales to 880,000 units in 2030 and become a “top global seller.” On a related matter, the company also has an annual sales target of 1.6 million units by 2030, with eco-friendly vehicles (EVs, hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) accounting for 40% of all sales.
To kickstart this initiative, the Korean carmaker will launch its first dedicated EV, currently codenamed CV, in July this year. Based on the E-GMP architecture, it’s said to offer a range of over 500 km, ultra-fast charging and a zero to 100 km/h time of around three seconds, all packaged in a low-slung SUV body.
Kia adds that the CV will also feature Level 2 semi-autonomous driving features, and beginning in 2023, all its EVs will be equipped with Highway Driving Pilot (HDP), a Level 3 system. The company also noted that more product details and performance specifications for the CV will be revealed in March.
Another area that Kia is dipping its feet into is purpose-built vehicles (PBVs), with the first from the company set to be unveiled in 2022. More PBVs will come later on according to market needs, with all of them being based on PBV-dedicated skateboard platforms. Kia notes that it wants PBV sales to amount to one million units annually by 2030 and will work with other companies to develop micro/large board platforms for unmanned delivery and e-commerce sectors.
Mobility services will also see an expansion under the Plan S strategy, with the company’s car usership service KiaMobility rolling out in additional European markets. The Spain-based car-sharing service Wible will also gain new options, while the Kia Flex subscription programme will be introduced outside Korea under the name Kia Subscription.
As for the financial side of things, Kia is expecting global sales to total 2.922 million units this year, which is a 12.1% year-on-year (YoY) increase. This will provide a revenue of 65.6 trillion Korean won (around RM240 billion) and an operating profit of 3.5 trillion Korean won (around RM12.8 billion), both being 10.8% and 70.1% increases respectively.
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