BUSINESS

Kia Motors vows W29tr to transform into EV maker

By Kim Da-sol

Automaker unveils ‘Plan S’ to become mobility solutions provider in conjunction with Hyundai

  • Published : Jan 14, 2020 - 15:27
  • Updated : Jan 14, 2020 - 19:08

Kia Motors on Tuesday unveiled its strategy to transform into a mobility solutions provider and ramp up its lineup with 11 new models to achieve global electric vehicle market share of 6.6 percent by 2025. 

Under its mid- and long-term business plan called “Plan S,” the sister company of Hyundai Motor said it will focus on EVs by injecting 29 trillion won ($25.1 billion), as well as increase profitability by offering customized mobility solutions.

The vision was unveiled during its investor day event held in Seoul, in front of shareholders, analysts and credit rating agency officials. 

“Amid the rapidly changing automotive industry paradigm, this is the time when we can completely transform ourselves as a global company that leads future values for customers,” said Kia Motors CEO Park Han-wu. 

Kia Motors CEO Park Han-wu speaks during Kia Motor’s investor day in Seoul on Tuesday. (Kia Motors)

He added that Kia hopes to achieve 6 percent growth in operating profit and 10.6 percent return on equity by 2025. 

After refurbishing its vehicle lineup comprised of 11 EV models starting from 2021 until 2025, the company has set a sales target of 500,000 such units and 1 million eco-friendly vehicles by 2026 globally, excluding China. 

The company said its unique EV architecture platform will be applied to its entire lineup, while world-class technologies will be used to allow future-oriented user experience, 500 kilometer of driving range, 20 minute-long fast charging, and more. 

It will also differentiate the EV charging system into two types -- 400V and 800V -- for the convenience of customers. 

For domestic clients, the company said it will seek different kinds of EV customer programs, such as by coming up with subscription, battery rental and lease programs and used-battery business. 

Besides South Korea, Kia’s main target markets for EV sales will be North America and Europe, while it will closely watch sales in emerging markets where it will continue to focus on expanding sales of combustion-engine vehicles. 

As part of its plans to completely shift its business structure, the company said it will renew its brand identity, corporate and design identity, and user experience. 

The renewed brand will mainly target the core target group of EVs -- millennials and Generation Z. Specific details will be unveiled in the second half of this year. 

To diversify its business portfolio toward mobility services, Kia also vowed to enter the purpose-built vehicle market to secure new clients. 

It is in line with the Hyundai Motor’s latest smart mobility vision for hubs that link aerial vehicles with specialized ground transportation, which was announced by Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun during the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. 

In the long term, Kia said it will develop new business opportunities by using a concept of mobility hubs that link aerial vehicles with specialized ground transportation. Examples could be operating self-driving robot taxis and on-demand robot shuttles. 

Kia said it will also focus on PBV product advancement for specific clients. Starting from applying the PBV prototype to Niro EV and Soul EV, the company plans to develop models with a specific purpose such as a ride-sharing cars, logistics vehicles, fresh product delivery vehicles, and more. 

When autonomous driving becomes widespread, the company said it will expand the business model to EVs and autonomous driving-based PBVs by using module-type skateboard platforms which are used for mini-sized driverless delivery cars and robot taxis. 

By Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)



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