Kia reinvents itself, promising 'movement that inspires'
Kia started its own reinvention Friday with a new company name and slogan.
It ditched the “Motors” from its original company name to emphasize the company’s evolution into a so-called solution and service provider in the mobility sector, not a mere maker of cars. That identity, and the name Kia Motors, had sufficed for more than three decades.
Its slogan was changed from "The Power to Surprise" to "Movement that Inspires."
The company's new electric vehicle (EV) models will be simply labeled EV1, EV2 and EV3, employing a new kind of elemental simplicity in its branding.
Last week, Kia unveiled a new futuristic logo.
Kia’s history goes back to 1944 when the company was called Kyungsung Precision Industry, which made bicycles and three-wheeled cars. Its name changed to Kia Industries in 1952 and to Kia Motors in 1990. Hyundai Motor, the biggest carmaker in the country, acquired Kia in 1998.
“We are breaking away from our traditional manufacturing-driven business model,” explained Song Ho-sung, CEO of Kia, in an online video laying out a new vision for the company.
“[We are] expanding into new and emerging business areas by creating innovative mobility products and services that meet customer needs.”
Song elaborated on a long-term roadmap dubbed the Plan S initiative, in which the company is supposed to expand into EVs, mobility solutions and services as well as purpose-built vehicles (PBV), vehicles that fulfill specific purposes such as logistics work or car-sharing.
Song said Kia will be a good global citizen as well by focusing on sustainability by utilizing recycled materials and clean energy.
Under Plan S, Kia will launch seven new EV models through 2027, which will include sedans, SUVs and minivans. They will be manufactured on E-GMP, Hyundai Motor Group’s EV-dedicated modular platform. First in the lineup will be a crossover SUV known by its project name CV, which will premiere in the first quarter of this year. It will have a range of 500 kilometers (311 miles) per charge and be able to be charged within 20 minutes.
Kia plans to grab 6.6 percent of the global EV market share by 2025 and sell 50,000 units of EVs per year by 2026.
Starting afresh will require some heavy tinkering with the corporate culture, Song admitted — almost an overhaul.
“[In order to expand into new business fields], Kia should have a flexible working environment and a creative organization culture,” Song said.
BY JIN EUN-SOO [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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