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Embracing electrification and digitalisation is all the rage now, but here's why Kia's recently announced transformation could be the most significant yet.

20 Jan 2021

From BMW to Volkswagen and more recently Nissan, rebranding for the digital age has become something of a trend in the automotive sector.

But Kia's recently announced rebranding is far more than an aesthetic change. We look at why Kia’s new identity could be the most significant rebranding yet in the industry.

A new look for the digital age

Kia not only has a new logo, but a new slogan and corporate name as well
Unlike other manufacturers, Kia is not just simplifying its new logo. Its new identity comes with a logo that has been completely redesigned, as well as a new corporate name and brand slogan. The new logo, now described as 'Kia's signature', uses a new font, with its upward strokes representing the upward aspirations of the brand.

Kia's corporate name has also been changed. Instead of 'Kia Motor Corporation', it will now be known simply as 'Kia'.

Kia claims this new name is indicative of its break away from the traditional manufacturing business model into one that focuses instead on new and emerging business to better meet customer needs, by creating new, innovative products and services (more of which below).

Also new is Kia's brand slogan. Now changed to 'Movement that inspires', from the former 'Power to surprise'. The brand states that this new slogan will embody all that it creates from now on.

So what will Kia create?

Seven of Kia's new generation of electric vehicles will be launched by 2027
Plenty that is new, in fact. Sure, other manufacturers have already begun to roll out their first dedicated electric vehicles, but Kia counters by promising at least seven new electric vehicles for launch globally by 2027, all built atop dedicated electric vehicle platforms.

These new vehicles will also be manufactured with yet-to-be revealed clean energy and recyclable materials, and will adopt a new alpha-numeric naming logic, from EV1 to EV9. They will also come in a range of bodyshapes, ranging from a sensible commuter to a strong and bold SUV.

You can also expect some of the new models to be built atop the groups' new E-GMP platform, allowing these cars to reach ranges of up to 500km, while offering a charging capacity of up to 350kW. This means that a high-speed charge of up to 80% of capacity can be accomplished in just 18 minutes, or you can add up to 100km of driving range in just five minutes.

Dedicated E-GMP platform will allow Kia's electric range to achieve ranges of up to 500km
Oh and of course, the first of Kia's next generation battery electric vehicles, scheduled to be revealed in the coming weeks, will also be the first global Kia vehicle to bear the new logo.

No information has been presented of this car as of yet, other than the fact that it will boast a crossover-inspired design, and offer an electric driving range of over 500km, as well as a high-speed charging time of under 20 minutes.

Kia is targeting a 6.6% share of the global battery electric market by 2025, and global annual sales of 500,000 BEVs by 2026 as well, so it shouldn't take long before we see more of the planned range.

However, you won't necessarily have to get an electric car to see the new logo. It will also be appearing on all new and facelifted global Kia vehicles unveiled from the first quarter of 2021. These include the new K7 as well as the Kia Sportage, which is currently scheduled for a global unveil in the second quarter of this year. Local authorised dealer Cycle & Carriage has no plans yet to bring either car into Singapore.

Beyond just electrification

Also in development are four PBVs, designed for the e-commerce and car-sharing sectors
But Kia is also planning to surpass rivals in the move to a digital age by building more than just electric vehicles. It is also planning to roll out what it terms as 'Purpose-Built Vehicles' (PBV) for corporate customers in the e-commerce and car-sharing sectors.

These specialised vehicles will be based on flexible skateboard platforms, with modular bodies designed to meet the specific mobility needs ranging from car-sharing vehicles, to low-floor logistics, and delivery vehicles.

Teased in an initial unveil, the PBV range already consists of four vehicles, and include a micro-autonomous pod, two commuters of different sizes, and a final, boxy, larger vehicle, intended for logistics work.

With Kia already investing heavily in ride-hailing and food delivery firm Grab, don't be surprised if one of these PBVs delivers your favourite midnight snack to your home in the future.

Movement that inspires indeed.

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