We’ve seen Kia’s new logo, and now we’ve learned a more about the brand’s future plans, including seven all-electric models and three battery-powered concepts by 2027. Kia’s intent is to stake out a leading position in the EV market, and it teased five of those future production models in silhouette.
The models will be known as EV1 through EV9, part of a model-name reorganization we’ll touch on in a bit. We don’t know which models get which numbers, so we’ll use Kia’s own descriptions (and please don’t accuse of egregious use of marketing-speak; we’re just parroting here).
First up is what Kia calls “a powerful and dynamic crossover”:
A “fun and practical commuter”:
A “strong and bold SUV”:
An “agile and dynamic machine” (which they hinted would be a serious performer, perhaps an electric Stinger):
Lastly, a “long and elegant sedan” (hidden, for reasons we can’t even guess at, behind the agile and dynamic machine):
All of the products will use the company’s Electric Global Modular Platform, a dedicated EV architecture that Kia and partner Hyundai have chosen to refer to by the rather unfortunate acronym E-GMP. The first car will debut in the upcoming weeks, and it will likely be a close mechanical relative of Hyundai’s stylistically differentiated Ioniq 5.
Kia also teased three mobility concept vehicles, which they refer to as PBVs, or Purpose Built Vehicles. They, too, were revealed in silhouette. First is what Kia calls “a micro autonomous pod”:
An “individual urban transporter”:
A “midsize commuter”:
And a “large logistic companion” (is that a fancy way of saying delivery drone?):
All these changes are part of a corporate marketing reinvention. The company officially known as Kia Motors Corporation will formally adopt the name everyone else uses: Kia. The brand’s new slogan is “Movement That Inspires” and it has even adopted new brand colors, with black and white as the primary hues and yellow, green, and gray also in use. Kia’s plan is to move away from a manufacturing-driven model and expand into other business areas that it terms “innovative mobility services.”
Meanwhile, some model names will change as well. Kia recently renamed the Optima as the K5, and it says other sedans will follow suit, adopting the alphanumeric names used in other markets. However, SUVs like the Sportage and Telluride will retain their long-form names.
Could Kia come to dominate the electric-vehicle segment? Twenty-nine years ago, when they came to the US with a cheap-but-rugged SUV called the Sportage, few thought the South Korean automaker would ever become a serious player. Look how that turned out. Ten years ago we didn’t think Kia would ever built a proper driver’s car, and look how that turned out. If Kia has set the goal of becoming a major EV player, its competitors should take notice.
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