Manufactured to the highest quality standards at Kia’s state-of-the-art production facility at Anantapur, India, the Sonet is Kia’s all-new smart urban compact SUV, marking the brand’s entry into the burgeoning B-SUV segment in South Africa.
“With its sporty, eye-catching design language, fun-to-drive dynamics and the high-quality features Kia is renowned for, the all-new Sonet puts an exclamation point on our ambition to make Kia the brand of choice for trendy urbanites,” comments Gary Scott, CEO, Kia South Africa. “ The Sonet fulfils an important role in Kia’s local line-up, and is well positioned to attract a large number of customers who value design, comfort and quality.”
A complete package
The Kia Sonet is all-new, developed and engineered from the ground-up jointly between Kia Motors India and Kia’s global R&D headquarters in Namyang, South Korea. Following extensive market input, especially relating to its design, engine and transmission tuning and characteristics, and suspension attributes, the Sonet was designed to offer customers a car that ticks all the boxes while offering a selection of features that add value to the ownership experience.
During its development, the Sonet has been through extensive tests across diverse terrain, driving situations, and climatic conditions, with engineers from India and South Korea covering over 100,000 kilometres. The outcome is a B-SUV designed to turn heads on the road, engineered to offer driving pleasure, built to world-leading quality standards, and offered with the convenience, comfort, safety and features that every Kia is known and loved for.
“The B-SUV segment is continuously growing and evolving, with strong competition from multiple brands. This segment is a launchpad for consumers actively upgrading their lifestyle, whether because of a notable life change, or a desire to see more, do more and experience more,” comments Stephen Crosse, Sales & Marketing Director, Kia South Africa. “We’re confident that these consumers, keen to start their SUV life, will be attracted to the complete package the Sonet represents.”
No small matter
The all-new Kia Sonet incorporates Kia’s DNA of emotive styling along with a premium and youthful appeal to create a strong presence on local roads. The Sonet showcases a range of styling attributes that sets it apart from its competitors, including a fresh interpretation of Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose grille’, with a stylish front skid plate underneath. Its sporty silhouette is enhanced by the unique design and structure of its C-pillars, matched with a wrap-around rear windscreen. The profile, meanwhile, has a strong, sporty character thanks to the shape of the bonnet and bumpers, with the strongly raked A-pillars and rounded roofline imparting greater road presence.
Contributing to the Sonet’s unmistakable SUV stance is its size. At 4,120 mm long, sitting on a wheelbase measuring 2,500 mm, it’s one of the largest and most spacious vehicles in the B-SUV segment, ensuring that there is more than enough space for all passengers – and everything that’s needed on the journey. The Sonet is offered in seven one-tone exterior colours: Glacier White, Steel Silver, Gravity Grey, Aurora Black, Beige Gold, Intense Red and Intelligency Blue. Customers keen to express themselves a bit more may opt for one of four two-tone exterior colour options: Glacier White or Intense Red with a black roof, or Gravity Grey or Intelligency Blue with a white roof.
Stay in touch with your world
Inside, the Sonet offers a sophisticated cabin with a smooth, flowing dashboard to appeal to young-at-heart and always-connected consumers. Keeping the comfort of the driver and passengers in mind, intelligent packaging has liberated plenty of leg room, head room and shoulder room, and created a large luggage area measuring 392 litres.
Taking centre stage on the dashboard is an 8,0-inch HD touchscreen infotainment system that incorporates a reverse camera with dynamic guidelines, a standard fitment throughout the range. The setup offers Kia’s intuitive and friendly voice-control technology and sports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, providing customers with the crucial safety advantage of hands-free connectivity. Additionally, the digital instrument cluster presents important information to the driver in vivid clarity.
Sonet 1.5 EX Intense Red Two-tone
Sonet 1.5 LX Intense Red
The freedom of choice
The Sonet is offered with a new engine for the South African market. Kia’s fuel-efficient 1.5 MPI petrol engine boasts outputs of 85 kW at 6,300 r/min and 144 Nm of torque at 4,500 r/min. Customers have a choice between a 6-speed manual gearbox or a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Two trim levels will be available with both transmission options. Feature highlights on the entry-level LX derivatives, to name but a few, include:
•8,0-inch infotainment with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
•Remote central locking
•Front and rear electric windows
•15-inch steel wheels
•Height-adjustable driver’s seat
•Automatic headlamp activation
•Combination artificial leather and cloth seat trim
Building on the comprehensive features available at the entry point into the Sonet range, the mid-spec EX models add:
•Rear park distance control
•Leather steering wheel and gear knob
•Silver skid plates
•16-inch alloy wheels
•Side repeater lamps
•Front fog lights
Keeping you safe
Customer safety is an utmost priority for Kia globally, starting with the structural integrity of the passenger cell. More than two-thirds of the Sonet’s body are made up of high-strength and advanced high-strength steel, creating a lightweight yet robust structure. Complementing this strong structure are a number of key safety features, including:
•Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
•ABS with EBD
•Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)
•Dual front airbags
•ISOFIX child-seat anchoring points
Begin discovering. Begin to dream. Begin your SUV life.
The all-new Kia Sonet is designed and developed to deliver a best-in-class experience in quality, design, technology, features and driveability to attract new customers to the Kia brand, as well as entice existing fans of the brand.
It’s all the buzz on South African roads, and although we are impressed by its size, Kia is a lot more than “Cute”.
Inspired by quality, dependability, performance and design, every Kia model is designed to get you there, safely. Ranked #1 among all brands in J.D. Power US Initial Quality Study for the 6th consecutive year, you’re in good hands with Kia!
So, pay a little more, for a lot more – style, safety and reliability…
Bring in the Kia Picanto X-Line. Make your next move without cutting corners on all the important stuff. Compact on the outside, roomy on the inside, and full of big ideas, go there in the car that is obsessed with your peace of mind, go there in the Kia Picanto X-Line.
The new Kia EV6 brings long-range, zero-emissions power, 800V ultra-fast charging and distinctive styling to the crossover SUV market. The EV6 is Kia’s first car to be based on the company’s dedicated new platform for battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
This pioneering crossover – the first dedicated BEV launched under the new Kia design philosophy ‘Opposites United’ – displays a future-oriented EV design characterized by high-tech details. It is powered exclusively by electric energy, with a choice of multiple long-range, zero-emissions powertrain configurations. The 800V charging capability means EV6 can go from 10 to 80 percent battery charge in just 18 minutes, while the GT version, engineered to inspire consumers with exciting driving performance, can accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds with a top speed of 260 km/h.
The EV6 is the first dedicated BEV produced by Kia using the all-new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), and forms the first part of Kia’s transition to the new era of electrification under the new brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’. It also begins the mid-to-long term strategy for BEVs, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and hybrid electric (HEV) vehicles to make up 40 percent of Kia’s total sales by 2030, with an annual sales target of 1.6 million units for these eco-friendly models. As part of this, Kia aims to grow its BEV sales to 880,000 units in 2030 and become a top global seller. EV6 is the first of 11 new BEV models from Kia by 2026 – seven built on E-GMP architecture, and four derivative EVs based on existing models.
“EV6 is the embodiment of the new Kia. It is born to inspire every journey, through bold design, progressive engineering, innovative technologies, and exciting electric performance,” Ho Sung Song, Kia’s President & CEO said. “EV6 also represents the beginning of Kia’s long-term commitment to sustainable mobility, accelerating the transition not only to clean transportation, but also products, materials and manufacturing.”
The EV6 will be produced in South Korea. It will go on-sale in select global markets starting from the second half of 2021, with online reservations beginning from March 30 in some markets.
New design language strikes a balance between contrasting forces
The EV6 was designed under the brand’s new design philosophy ‘Opposites United’, which takes inspiration from the contrasts found in nature and humanity. At the centre of the design philosophy is a new visual identity evoking positive forces and natural energy, with contrasting combinations of sharp stylistic elements and sculptural shapes.
Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design Centre, elaborated: “EV6, as the first dedicated Kia EV, is a showcase of human-centred, progressive design and electrified power. We strongly believe EV6 is a compelling and relevant model for the new EV era. With EV6 we aimed to create a distinctive, impactful design by using a combination of sophisticated, high-tech features on pure and rich volumes while providing a dedicated EV aiming to define our future.”
Designed to deliver something different in the crossover class, the GT version of the EV6 offers a distinctive, impactful exterior with high-tech features, as well as unprecedented levels of performance from a Kia electric vehicle.
At the front, Kia’s ‘tiger face’ has been re-interpreted for the digital era. Forming part of this ‘Digital Tiger Face’, daytime running lights display a sleek, modern appearance and include a ‘sequential’ dynamic light pattern. Below this, a low air intake visually widens the front of the car, accentuating its high-tech image.
The side profile displays a crossover-inspired silhouette, which is modern, sleek and aerodynamic. A character line runs along the bottom of the doors, curving upwards towards the rear wheel arches to visually elongate the profile of the car. Designed in part to realize ultimate aerodynamic performance, the rear displays a sloping C-pillar with an integrated black glossy insert which appears to extend the window glass. Above this sits a prominent wing-type roof spoiler that channels air downwards towards a raised lower spoiler, which sits atop the car’s unique rear light cluster.
Versatile and spacious inside thanks to the flat battery under the floor
A distinct product of the EV era, the interior design benefits greatly from the application of Kia’s dedicated E-GMP platform. Despite the EV6’s compact exterior dimensions, its 2,900mm wheelbase results in a cabin space similar to many mid-size SUVs.
Jochen Paesen, Vice President for Interior Design, commented: “People are first attracted by the exterior of cars, but they eventually fall in love with the interior – where they spend most of their time. So, designing an inspiring space for the EV6 was the most important thing for us. We believe EV6 can inspire customers by boosting their creativity.”
One of the most striking elements is a seamless high-tech curved infotainment screen. The simple form language of the wide screen and dashboard give the interior an open feel.
Relaxation seats are slim, lightweight and contemporary, and clad in modern, visually interesting and robust fabrics created using recycled plastics – equivalent to 111 plastic water bottles.
The EV6 offers intelligent and flexible interior packaging and an abundance of cabin storage areas, including 520 litres (VDA) of trunk space with the second-row seats in place. With the second-row seats folded down, stowage capacity increases to approximately 1,300 litres. The car also features a front trunk which provides up to an additional 52 litres of stowage space for 2WD models and 20 litres for AWD models.
Long-range, all-wheel drive and zero-emissions
The EV6 offers buyers a choice of multiple fully-electric, zero-emission powertrain configurations, including long-range (77.4 kWh) and standard-range (58.0 kWh) high-voltage battery packs. EV6 GT-line is available with both long-range and standard-range battery packs, while EV6 GT features the long-range battery pack only. This is Kia’s first electric vehicle to be available with two-wheel (2WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) options – the latter offering enhanced dynamic capability in even the most challenging conditions.
The 2WD 77.4 kWh EV6 can travel over 510 kilometres on a single charge on the WLTP combined cycle. With a maximum 605 Nm torque available on the AWD version, the EV6 can accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in just 5.2 seconds. The 77.4 kWh battery pack is paired with a 168 kW electric motor powering the rear wheels, and for AWD models two electric motors, powering the front and rear axles, produce a tot of 239 kW.
The 58.0 kWh EV6 can accelerate from 0-to-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds, with a maximum 605 Nm torque available on the AWD version. The 58.0 kWh battery pack is paired with a 125 kW electric motor powering the rear wheels; AWD models feature two electric motors, powering the front and rear axles and producing a combined 173 kW.
Platform flexibility for electric performance
Kia’s new dedicated E-GMP reduces complexity through modularization and standardization, allowing rapid and flexible development of products with varied attributes. This flexible development can satisfy various customer needs for vehicle performance within a single model line like EV6.
Equipped with 430kW dual motors, the EV6 GT takes electric performance to another level. With a maximum 740Nm torque, the AWD GT version accelerates from 0-to-100 km/h in an eye-watering 3.5 seconds and can reach a top speed of 260 km/h (preliminary development targets). With the addition of electronic-Limited Slip Differential software to the EV6 GT version only, drivers will enjoy confident control and dynamic ride and handling in all conditions.
“The GT version of EV6 demonstrates our technological leadership through its combination of outstanding high-speed charging and acceleration performance like a super sports car. With our dedicated EV platform, there is no need for compromise between inspiring spaciousness and performance,” said Albert Biermann, President and Head of R&D Division for Hyundai Motor Group.
800V Ultra-Fast Charging
80 percent charge in just 18 minutes; new vehicle-to-load (V2L) function
The EV6 offers 800V and 400V charging capabilities, without the need for additional components or adapters. The car is capable of a high-speed charge from 10 to 80 percent in just 18 minutes on all variations or a top-up charge of 100km of driving range in less than four and a half minutes when pairing 2WD with the 77.4-kWh battery option.
The car’s charging system is more flexible than previous generation BEVs thanks to an Integrated Charging Control Unit (ICCU). The ICCU enables a new vehicle-to-load (V2L) function, which is capable of discharging energy from the vehicle battery. The V2L function can supply up to 3.6kW of power and is capable, as an example, of operating a 55-inch television and air conditioner simultaneously for more than 24 hours. The system is also able to charge another EV, if needed.
With more than 35% charge left in the battery, the EV6 can tow items weighing up to 1,600 kg. Together with the V2L function, EV6 owners can take everything they need on an outdoor adventure with friends and family and do it all with zero emissions.
Maximizing driving range and efficiency
The EV6 is fitted with energy-recuperation technologies to maximize driving range. This includes Kia’s latest-generation energy-efficient heat pump, which scavenges waste heat from the car’s coolant system. This ensures that at minus seven degrees Celsius the car can achieve 80% of the range that would be possible at 25 degrees Celsius.
Also featured is the latest generation of Kia’s smart regenerative braking system, which is operated by paddle shifters behind the steering wheel so drivers can quickly and easily slow the car and recuperate kinetic energy to maximize driving range and efficiency. Drivers can choose from six regenerative braking levels (none, 1 to 3, ‘i-PEDAL’, or auto mode), depending on the desired level of energy recuperation. The system’s ‘i-PEDAL’ driving mode also allows the car to harvest the maximum amount of energy from its brakes, and enables the driver to bring the car to a gentle halt without needing to push the brake pedal.
New connectivity and infotainment features for the EV age
EV6 introduces a suite of technologies that enhance safety, connectivity and infotainment. They are designed to make travelling safer, easier and less stressful.
The high-tech infotainment system includes 12-inch dual screens. Curved displays applied to EV6 have thin film panels that utilize new structure and advanced technology for reducing impact of light. The cluster and infotainment system are connected as if they were wrapped around one body with a reinforced glass. Extending from the steering wheel to the centre of the car, it displays a digital cluster in front of the driver, and infotainment system above the centre console.
The EV6 also features an augmented reality (AR) head-up display system, which projects driving information onto the base of the windscreen in the driver’s line of sight. The system displays alerts from the car’s Advanced Driver Assistance System, details of vehicle speed, and turn-by-turn navigation instructions.
A powerful 14-speaker Meridian® surround audio system is also available, a first for a Kia BEV and delivering a truly immersive sound experience. The 14-speaker audio system has been engineered by the experts at Meridian and features several of the British audio pioneer’s proprietary digital signal processing (DSP) technologies. Meridian’s core sound philosophy has been integrated into the EV6 allowing customers to enjoy natural, lifelike and authentic audio on the move.
The speaker system also offers Active Sound Design (ASD), a newly-developed feature by Kia which provides drivers with audible feedback to the speed that the car is travelling and controlled via a user interface.
Safety and Convenience
Advanced Driver Assistance system with Remote Smart Parking Assist
The EV6 offers class-leading levels of safety and convenience thanks to its enhanced suite of driver assistance systems (ADAS). They help to reduce many of the inherent hazards and stresses of driving, protecting occupants and other road users on every journey.
Safe Exit Assist (SEA) helps people avoid collisions with a rear side vehicle when exiting EV6. When the occupant opens the door to exit the vehicle after a stop, the system provides a warning if an approaching vehicle from the rear side is detected. SEA also helps keep the rear door closed through operation of the electronic child lock.
Lane Following Assist (LFA) helps centre the vehicle in the lane. When driving, LFA can be switched on and off with the press of a button.
Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2) helps maintain a set distance and speed from the vehicle ahead when driving on a highway and also helps centre the vehicle in the lane, even through a curve. In case of an adjacent vehicle driving in close proximity, HDA 2 assists to adjust the EV6’s path, so to avoid any possible risk of collision. Also, with the driver’s hands on the steering wheel and above a certain speed, a click of the indicator stalk will move the car into the corresponding lane.
Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) helps remotely park or exit a parking spot with the driver operating EV6 from outside the vehicle.
EV6: the first bold, original and inventive BEV from the new Kia brand
The EV6 represents the first step for the newly transformed Kia brand, and its promise to inspire people through bold design, progressive engineering, and innovative and purposeful technologies. Kia’s vision is to create sustainable mobility solutions, as the company starts its ambitious yet important transition into a future mobility solutions brand.
“EV6 has been designed to inspire every journey by offering an instinctive and natural experience that improves the daily lives of our customers, and provide user ownership that is simple, intuitive and integrated,” said Ho Sung Song, Kia’s President & CEO. “Our aim is to keep inspiring our customers about the new Kia brand.”
Kia South Africa this week opened the doors of a brand new facility in Mokopane, Limpopo. The new Kia Mokopane, a state-of-the-art facility spanning 2,230 square metres, will cater for new Kia vehicle sales and the servicing of up to 45 cars per day. The facility has a 24-hour standby generator to ensure uninterrupted power supply, as well as a water storage capacity of 130 kilolitres in the event of water supply constraints.
“My introduction to the Kia brand more than 13 years ago has been inspirational from day one,” comments Muneer Noormohamed, the Kia Mokopane franchise holder for the past 8 years. “As the Kia brand commences its exciting move forwards, it is imperative that towns such as Mokopane keep up with the global and national trends and changes. This new dealership with its smart technology not only represents the evolving Kia brand, but also the growing investment in the community we serve.”
The opening was attended by various executives from Kia South Africa including its CEO, Gary Scott, the founder of Kia South Africa, Ray Levin, stakeholders from the financial services industry as well as the Mayor of Mokopane, Frans Mokwele, who not only congratulated the dealership management team on their new facility, but also thanked them for their investment in Mokopane.
“Muneer’s substantial investment in expanding his Kia operations after seven years in Mokopane is a reflection of the growth of the Kia brand, his confidence in the business partnership and his success in Mokopane and surrounds,” says Gary Scott, CEO, Kia South Africa. “This facility is a wonderful sign of redevelopment in Mokopane and will serve as both a great destination for residents of Mokopane, as well as Kia motorists touring or travelling through Limpopo.”
A mere two hours’ drive from Gauteng, Mokopane is a gateway destination to the Waterberg area, a renowned agricultural hub that produces everything from wheat, tobacco, cotton, maize, peanuts, and citrus, and also rich in minerals, with the mining of platinum, diamonds and granite making a substantial contribution to the local economy.
Kia South Africa invites customers to visit the all-new Kia Mokopane, located at 19 Thabo Mbeki Drive, to test drive the latest Kia models and to get a first-hand experience of the Mokopane team’s inspiring customer service.
Kia now ranks as number one among mass-market brands according to the J.D. Power 2021 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) in the U.S.A. The achievement has been strengthened by three of Kia’s most popular-selling models – the Sorento, Sportage, and Optima – each besting their respective segments.
“Earning the top spot among mass market brands in J.D. Power’s Vehicle Dependability Study is another new benchmark achievement for Kia’s meteoric rise in the industry”, said Sean Yoon, president & CEO, Kia North America & Kia America. “This substantial award bolsters our track record in initial quality and shows that the ‘new car lustre’ of our world-class vehicles extends far beyond the first 90 days of ownership. Kia owners continue to enjoy and feel confident in their vehicles as the years go by, especially knowing they’re backed by our industry leading warranty.”
About JD Power
J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. A pioneer in the use of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithmic modelling capabilities to understand consumer behaviour, J.D. Power has been delivering incisive industry intelligence on customer interactions with brands and products for more than 50 years. The world’s leading businesses across major industries rely on J.D. Power to guide their customer-facing strategies.
The J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study measures the number of problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) experienced over the last year by owners of their three-year-old vehicles, meaning this study focused on 2018 model year vehicles. It includes 32 nameplates and 153 models, covering problem symptoms grouped into eight major vehicle categories (Seats, HVAC, Features/Controls/Displays (FCD), Driving Experience, Interior, Engine/Transmission, Exterior, Audio/Communication/Entertainment/Navigation (ACEN).
Kia regularly recognised for dependability.
This year the Kia Sorento was ranked first in the Vehicle dependability study, with the Toyota Highlander and Ford Edge following in second and third place respectively.
Similarly, the Kia Sportage grabbed the top spot in the Small SUV category, followed by the Buick Encore in second place and the Hyundai Tucson in third.
Kia has a long history of JD Power accolades. Last year Kia was named the number one mass-market automotive brand in the JD Power Initial Quality Survey (IQS) for the sixth consecutive year.
Kia’s continued success in these dependability surveys is testament to the brand’s dedication to producing excellent products and also provide superior service to all customers. Kia’s attention to detail, customer-centric business approach, and fantastic vehicles makes it one of the most exciting automotive brands in the market.
Note: This year’s J.D Power study was fielded in October-November 2020 and surveyed 9,632 owners of 2015-2021 model year BEVs and PHEVs.
Kia has announced new details of its new brand purpose and ambitions for the future during a digital showcase event. Supported by a new brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’, Kia today reveals new details of a strategy which will see the company go beyond vehicle manufacturing to create sustainable mobility solutions for customers.
Signaling the brand breaking away from its traditional manufacturing-driven business model, Kia has announced a new corporate name. Removing the ‘Motors’ from its name (previously ‘Kia Motors Corporation’), Kia will expand into new and emerging business areas by creating innovative mobility products and services to improve customers’ daily lives.
Ho Sung Song, President and CEO of Kia Corporation, comments: “At Kia, 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. Today we start putting this vision into action with the launch of our new brand purpose and strategy for the future.”
Introducing Kia’s new brand purpose and slogan: ‘Movement that inspires’
Kia’s new brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’, is introduced today at the heart of a brand manifesto which reflects Kia’s new purpose of inspiring consumers through products and services, and their experiences with the brand.
Kia’s new brand purpose emphasizes that movement is at the genesis of human development. Movement enables people to see new places, to meet new people, and to have new experiences. This connection is the essence of Kia’s new brand – to enable human progress by providing innovative in-car spaces, exciting new products, and meaningful, convenient services that inspire customers and free up time for the activities that they enjoy the most.
Artur Martins, Senior Vice President, Head of Global Brand & Customer Experience at Kia, said “Movement has always been at heart of our brand, and moving people at the core of our business. Movement helps humankind to constantly progress, improve, and evolve. That is why at Kia we believe that movement inspires ideas.”
Kia has been in the ‘movement’ industry for more than 75 years, and the company went on to create Korea’s first domestic bicycles and to manufacture motorcycles and delivery trucks. Today, Kia is one of the biggest automakers globally, providing high-value passenger vehicles to millions of people around the world.
Under its new brand purpose, Kia will meet changing customer expectations about how they move, and how their movement impacts the world around them. Consumers are increasingly seeking out flexible, environmentally conscious, and integrated forms of transportation.
Kia’s new brand strategy is to respond to – and shape – these changing expectations by developing a range of products and services to meet customers’ needs in markets around the globe. These will offer greater access to a wider range of environmentally conscious mobility products and services to meet growing demand from customers worldwide for flexible, customizable, individualized mobility solutions, enabled by data and new technologies.
Kia Corporation’s broader vision for sustainable mobility
Reflecting the brand’s broader vision for mobility, Kia has announced today a new corporate name as it expands into new business areas to promote sustainable mobility. By removing the ‘Motors’ from its name, Kia’s new corporate name shows a commitment to its long-term ‘Plan S’ business strategy.
This was announced in 2020, and will see the brand establish a leadership position in the future mobility industry, expanding its business to encompass EVs, mobility solutions and services, purpose-built vehicles, and more. Alongside these efforts, Kia will simultaneously promote more sustainable production through the usage of clean energy and recyclable materials.
Kia is focused on popularizing battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and plans to reinforce its global product line-up with the introduction of seven new dedicated BEVs by 2027. These 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 from Hyundai Motor Group’s new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP).
Kia is also developing a range of new Purpose-Built Vehicles (PBVs) for corporate customers. These specialized vehicles will be based on flexible ‘skateboard’ platforms, with modular bodies designed to meet the specific mobility needs of a broad range of corporate and fleet customers. Partnerships with the likes of Canoo and Arrival will mean Kia PBVs can offer different bodies mounted on top of an integrated modular ‘skateboard’ platform, tailored to users’ functional requirements.
Demand for PBVs is expected to grow five-fold by 2030 due to rapid and sustained growth in e-commerce and car-sharing services. Bespoke Kia PBVs will be tailored to meet the needs of corporate and fleet customers. For instance, these could include car-sharing vehicles, low-floor logistics vehicles, and delivery vehicles.
The change in the company’s corporate name also means transforming the organization’s working culture. President Song explains: “Changing our corporate name and logo is not only a cosmetic improvement. It represents us expanding our horizons and establishing new and emerging businesses that meet and exceed the diverse needs of our customers worldwide. More importantly, it also means adapting our working culture, enabling the creativity of all our employees and establishing an inspiring work environment.”
Development of eco-friendly mobility services
Another strategic objective under Plan S is a commitment by Kia to diversify its business to offer eco-friendly mobility services, centered on electric and autonomous driving across major global cities.
In addition, Kia is ramping up collaboration and partnerships with global mobility solutions businesses, diversifying mobility services in global strategic regions. In 2018, the company invested in Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing service, food delivery and payment solutions company; and in Ola in March 2019, an Indian company offering peer-to-peer ridesharing, ride-service hailing, taxi, food delivery and other mobility services.
Kia is also establishing other mobility services, including WiBLE, a car-sharing joint venture with Repsol, Spain’s major energy corporation, in Madrid. Launched in September 2018, WiBLE operates 500 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid EVs (PHEVs) through a free-floating method that allows users to freely rent and return vehicles within the service area. WiBLE remains one of Europe’s most successful shared mobility schemes, with over 130,000 members having registered since its inauguration. A new service, KiaMobility, was also launched in locations across Italy and Russia in September 2020, accelerating the company’s transformation to becoming a mobility solutions provider. KiaMobility will be introduced to several new markets in the years ahead.
Coming soon: Kia’s first dedicated BEV and a new design philosophy
The first of Kia’s next-generation BEVs will be revealed in the first quarter of 2021, embodying Kia’s shifting focus towards electrification. Based on new E-GMP technology, this dedicated BEV will boast a crossover-inspired design, while offering an electric driving range of over 500 kilometers and a high-speed charging time of under 20 minutes. This will also be the first global model to bear Kia’s new logo.
With its growing range of BEVs, Kia is targeting a 6.6% share of the global BEV market by 2025, and global annual sales of 500,000 BEVs by 2026.
Kia will also reveal more information about the new design direction of its future products and services in the weeks ahead, with a new design philosophy which reflects the brand’s transformation.
Karim Habib, Senior Vice President, Head of Kia Global Design Center, explains: “We want our products to deliver an instinctive and natural experience that can improve the daily lives of our customers. Our aim is to design the physical experience of our brand and to create original, inventive, and exciting electric vehicles. The ideas of our designers and the purpose of the brand are more connected than ever, with our customers at the center of what we do.”
Just a few weeks after the new Kia Sorento scooped the highly coveted ‘Large SUV of the Year’ title at the 2021 What Car? Car of the Year Awards, the popular SUV brought home two more prestigious awards from Poland.
The all-new Kia Sorento’s first Polish triumph came in the form of the highly coveted 2021 Polish ‘Car of the Year’ awards. The high-tech, new-generation SUV beat fierce competition to take victory, becoming Kia’s second successive victor following the Kia XCeed’s triumph at the first edition of the Polish ‘Car of the Year’ competition in 2020.
The Polish jury, which includes 21 of Poland’s leading automotive journalists, was particularly impressed with the SUV’s combination of functionality, safety, driving dynamics, ergonomics, advanced technology and value for money. The judges also recognised that the new Sorento, which is the first vehicle based on Kia’s new mid-size SUV architecture, accommodates state-of-the-art electrified powertrains, resulting in greater fuel efficiency, lower emissions and better performance than its predecessors and rivals. The new platform also allows for a larger vehicle body to maximise cargo and luggage space and makes the Sorento one of the most versatile and spacious three-row SUVs on the road.
“This award represents another proud moment in our European journey,” said Jason Jeong, President at Kia Motors Europe. “The new Sorento is an important car for us; one which our design, engineering and product teams have worked hard to ensure was a leader in the SUV segment. A second win in the Polish Car of the Year is a real testament to those that have worked on the Sorento, further establishing its position in the European market.”
The Polish Car of the Year Award was shortly followed by the top award in the Moto Awards Plebiscite, as voted for by the readers of Auto Świat, the weekly Polish edition of the popular German Auto Bild magazine. Auto Świat readers recognised the Sorento’s winning SUV package, which combines a modern, clean and practical interior featuring state-of-the-art tech, a stylish exterior design, and next-generation electrified powertrains.
Being the first vehicle to be designed and developed on Kia’s new mid-size SUV architecture, the fourth-generation Sorento benefits from a larger body to maximize cargo and luggage space. This makes Kia’s flagship SUV one of the most versatile and spacious SUVs on the market. The available powertrains include advanced hybrid and plug-in hybrid options that offer greater fuel efficiency, lower emissions and better performance than the car’s predecessors and rivals.
“We are honoured and delighted that the readers of Auto Świat judged the new Kia Sorento to be the best ‘Large SUV’ in Poland,” said Jeong. “The Polish market is hugely important to Kia and to gain this recognition from people that are passionate about cars and automotive technology is testament to where the new Sorento sits in the SUV space. Winning the 2020 Moto Awards Plebiscite is another important milestone for our flagship SUV.”
The all-new Kia Sorento is expected to make its South African debut in the second quarter of 2021.