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Behind the Recent Moves At Kia

Written By, Brad R

Kia has done more than brainstorm when revisiting and contriving plans, something their business has seen a focus on. Karim Habibas, Kia executive vice president and head of Kia Global Design, has placed an emphasis on since leaving BMW and accommodating new goals since 2019 with Kia. This year has been his most impactful and busiest yet. 

"I am extremely happy that Kia is perceived as pushing the envelope when it comes to design, and believe it is essential for designers to consistently take creative risks. It is important for design to be an authentic representation of the product and the brand's values," Habib told reporters.

Growing To Expand And Improve

Kia launched the new EV9, a large three-row, battery-electric SUV that contends with new technology and savvy modern designs. Kia has seen great interest among consumers since its debut in early 2023. Now several elements from that model, and the sustainability focus, have been added into the mix for the two-row EV5 SUV, in many ways, a smaller EV9.

"Sustainability is at the core of Kia's vision for the future. It is essential for us as a company, and we want to build our culture with long-term sustainability in mind. Our responsibility toward nature and future generations is something we are very aware of. We still have some way to go, but we aim to take every step forward with that responsibility in mind. Whether it's with our choice of materials or our development processes, we are working hard to improve, and challenge ourselves constantly to be better and more responsible."

Gaining Momentum In 2024 

These new design model cars, the Concept EV3 small SUV and Concept EV4 sedan, push the traditional ideals of vehicle making even further. Concept EV3 adds the perks of Kia Niro and EV9 design into a neat entry for drivers around the world.

Inside the EV4 owners gain a robust but modern exterior, side-situated headlights and a large roofline that is leagues away from any ride offered in 2024. Unique wheel designs and a look that is a state maker is the appeal of the EV6 electric crossover. The build Habib and his team put forward are reimagining long-held molds, pushing ahead opportunities in new battery-electric vehicle platforms and show off the newest direction of the brand as a winner. 

Fittingly, Kia’s own design center includes spaces filled with models, inspiration boards. This element is not lost to those who work there and take inspiration from their previous works. 

"I believe the role of a design leader in any big corporation today has several facets. Design leaders should create a culture that fosters creativity, innovation and 'failing forward.' They should encourage an open, collaborative and diverse culture, spread over multiple continents and markets. It's important to develop a context-specific, user-centric mentality and to consistently design with usability in mind. A design leader should propose a vision or design philosophy that is both clear and flexible enough to allow for each individual team member to propose their own point of view," Habib added.

"Finally, understanding that every design decision is also a brand decision—and vice versa—is key. Design and brand should always speak the same language Our brand should be a symbol of innovation and progressive solutions. Design must make this visible at every touch point with our customers. I believe this is the right direction because we live in an era where creating a better future is a necessity. We must always aspire to do so with every product we make," Habib added.

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