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Kia unveils masterplan for EV future

Han-woo Park: “Kia Motors will transform itself into a ceaselessly innovative brand by accelerating its bold and preemptive transition to future businesses.”

More than $32 billion to be invested by Kia into its electric future

17 Jan 2020

KIA has announced and outlined the details of its new mid-to-long-term strategy for its transition from internal combustion to electric and autonomous vehicles.

 

Entitled the Plan S strategy, Kia plans to offer a full line-up of 11 battery electric vehicles by the end of 2025 – the first of which to be launch next year – and is aiming to achieve a 6.6 per cent share of the global EV market, not including China.

 

Simultaneously it hopes to attribute 25 per cent of its total sales to what it describes as eco-friendly cars and to have sold half a million battery electric vehicles (BEV) globally by 2026.

 

According to Kia Motors president and chief executive Han-woo Park, the brand was “actively innovating” as it identified and capitalised on new opportunities such as mobility solutions.

 

“As the auto industry undergoes turbulent changes, today is also an opportune time for Kia Motors to radically transform itself into a global enterprise dedicated to spearheading customer value-led innovations,” he said.

 

“Plan S is a bold and enterprising roadmap for Kia’s future business transition, buttressed by the two pillars of electric vehicles and mobility solutions.

 

“Our approach is to put customers first, and Kia will reinvigorate its brand innovation by developing products and services that offer new experiences for customers.”

 

Executing Plan S will mark an investment of more than A$32.2 billion by Kia before the end of 2025 with the brand targeting a six per cent operating profit margin and 10.6 per cent return on equity.

 

Millennials and Generation Z-ers are slated to be at the forefront of the company’s new brand system scheduled to be released later this year as it aims to “become a pioneer in EVs” with its planned 11-model EV line-up as well as electric versions of existing SUVs and MPVs.

 

The first solely EV model is scheduled to launch sometime in 2021 sporting its own unique platform blurring the lines between a passenger car and SUV while being specifically engineered as an EV.

 

A 500km-plus, single-charge driving range is at the top of the wish list for the maiden EV along with a sub-20-minute high-speed charging time.

 

In the context of its post-2025 11-model line-up, Kia plans on offering both high performance and entry level variants with either 400V or 800V charging capabilities “to meet the diverse needs of customers”.

 

While EVs are unquestionably the focus of Kia’s future plans, the Korean giant has no intention of shedding internal-combustion engines with another focus of Plan S being the expansion of sales in emerging markets like India, along with the introduction of market-specific, entry-level EVs.

 

Until the EV line-up gets into its stride, new volume models including the Sorento and Sportage will continue to be released over the coming few years with the sales percentage of SUVs currently sitting at about 50 per cent, a figure executives expect to rise to 60 per cent by the end of 2022.

 

Last year Kia Australia experienced a 4.6 per cent sales increase with 61,503 units shifted up from 58,815 in 2018.


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