Kia rebranding: further details released of “bold transformation”

Kia has further detailed its revamped brand strategy following on from last week’s debut of its new logo design and brand slogan.

The Korean firm intends to “break away from its traditional manufacturing-driven business model”, instead expanding into “new and emerging business areas by creating innovative mobility products and services to improve customers’ daily lives”.

The move is part of Kia’s long-term ‘Plan S’ strategy, which will also see a focus on new dedicated EVs – seven of which will be launched by 2027. The first will be a coupe-crossover sitting on the company’s new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), and is set to be unveiled in the coming weeks.

The seven new models “will include a range of passenger vehicles, SUVs and MPVs across several segments, each incorporating industry-leading technology for long-range driving and high-speed charging.” Darkened preview images hint at these seven models, one of which will be a large SUV.

The preview shots also show a number of what Kia calls “Purpose-Built Vehicles” (PBVs) for corporate customers. Built on flexible ‘skateboard’ platforms with modular bodies, they will include car-sharing vehicles and delivery vehicles. Kia has partnered with firms Canoo and Arrival to produce these vehicles, for which Kia claims demand will increase five-fold by 2030.

Further to that, the company will diversify into “eco friendly mobility services, centred on electric and autonomous driving across major global cities”. Among the partnerships to facilitate this is a car-sharing joint venture in Madrid with energy firm Repsol, dubbed WiBLE. Launched in 2018, the service operates 500 Kia Niro PHEVs and has 130,000 members registered.

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Kia President and CEO, Ho Sung Song, said “We believe that transportation, mobility and movement represent a human right. Our vision is to create sustainable mobility solutions for consumers, communities, and societies globally.”

Kia is the latest in a number of traditional car making companies to reposition themselves as a provider of mobility solutions as the industry looks beyond the classic car sales approach in the longer term.

New logo design marks brand strategy shift

The new logo, described as a “rhythmical, unbroken line”, is said to resemble a handwritten signature. Also said to demonstrate “confidence” and “rising ambitions for the brand”, the logo was unveiled during a record-breaking pyrotechnic display in Incheon, South Korea, with 303 drones launching hundreds of synchronised fireworks.

The branding revamp comes before the reveal of a pivotal new electric car demonstrating the “new brand purpose” later. Alongside this, there will be more strategic details following on from last year’s announcement of Kia’s Plan S five-year strategy, in which AUD$33.5 billion will be invested.

“Kia’s new logo represents the company’s commitment to becoming an icon for change and innovation,” said Kia president and CEO Ho-Sung Song.

“The automotive industry is experiencing a period of rapid transformation, and Kia is proactively shaping and adapting to these changes,” he continued. “Our new logo represents our desire to inspire customers as their mobility needs evolve, and for our employees to rise to the challenges we face in a fast-changing industry.”

A new slogan for Kia, “movement that inspires” also replaces the “power to surprise” tag that has been used since 2005, reflecting the company’s gradual move away from budget offerings.

Lawrence Allan

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