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Kia Motors has been quite the ambitious automaker in the last few years. The 2018 Kia Stinger Sports car and Kia Niro hybrid crossover were some of the first vehicles from the new lineup to shake things up. First was the new Kia GT Line for specific vehicles in the lineup, such as the Kia Soul GT, and then Kia Motors quickly made a declaration to become the next all-electric automaker. If there was any doubt, the new all-electric Futuron Concept has already surfaced, and doesn’t look half bad. As we enter the year 2020 and move on to bigger and better things, Kia Motors has unleashed its “Plan S” strategy with a single goal in mind – become a leading automaker that encompasses electrification and mobility services, connectivity, and autonomy.
“Plan S” has been split into two tracks with two separate missions. One track is focused on electric vehicles (EVs) and self-driving vehicle technology, and the other is focused on developing personal mobility solutions for consumers. The first track is already on the move. Among the objectives for this strategy, high on the list is to launch a dedicated EV model in 2021. This will most likely be the all-electric Futuron concept, kicking off the next objective of adding 11 electric vehicles (EVs) to the lineup by 2025. If all goes well, by then, Kia Motors will have obtained a 6.6% global EV market share and will be making 25% of all sales from eco-friendly vehicles.
But 2025 is a long way away. What does the automaker plan to do between now and then? Working towards leading a full transition into the alternative fuel market, the Kia Futuron will be Kia Motors first dedicated battery-electric vehicle (BEV) without an internal combustion engine model that precedes it. Over the next few years, Kia Motors will be investing a total of 29 trillion won ($25 billion USD) to make Plan S a success. The first track is already on its way to success, so what about personal mobility?
Personal mobility may not start with self-driving vehicles and autonomy, although that is on the to-do list. Developing mobility products and services may be the first prerequisite, making sure unmanned drones and vans can safely navigate the busy city streets. Such concepts may be Purpose Built Vehicles (PBVs), made to supplement services in the already autonomous car-sharing and e-commerce business market. We’re talking a self-driving pizza delivery van like in Black Mirror. Hopefully, no one ends up in an insurance claim, because we all saw how that went down.
The majority of the second track of Plan S, the mobility track, Kia Motors aims to establish mobility hubs in various cities that have much more strict environmental regulations and have displayed a greater use of EVs. These cities will be the first to receive eco-friendly mobility services, provided by Kia Motors. Will developments like PBVs, Kia Motors can eventually become a leading name in the industry for corporate clients and target consumers.
“As the auto industry undergoes turbulent changes, today is also an opportune time for Kia Motors to radically transform itself into a global enterprise dedicated to spearheading customer value-led innovations…Kia Motors will actively innovate to take on the challenges ahead, identifying and capitalizing on new opportunities to propel the company forward…Plan S is a bold and enterprising roadmap for Kia’s future business transition, buttressed by the two pillars of electric vehicles and mobility solutions. Our approach is to put customers first, and Kia will reinvigorate its brand innovation by developing products and services that offer new experiences for customers.” – Kia Motors President and CEO Han-woo Park.
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