If you have noticed a new look about Kia, you wouldn’t be wrong. The Korean car maker has a new logo (Motors has been dropped), a new strapline, and more importantly for business customers, a brand new electric vehicle (EV) due later this year.
Let’s start with the new electric vehicle, pictured above as a concept, because it extends the choice for company car users.
Unlike the Kia Soul EV and the Kia e-Niro EV, the new crossover model is designed to be a battery electric vehicle (BEV) only. It is the first BEV that Kia will have produced, so it’s a significant model.
While we don’t know for definite what the new car will look like, the crossover-inspired design is said to be based on the rather fabulous Imagine concept that was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2019.
Gregory Guillaume, Vice President of Design for Kia in Europe told reporters at its unveil: “It’s a large C-segment car – the vehicle size that’s incredibly popular in Europe – but the only things it holds on to are Kia’s brand values. It hints at something familiar, but is something entirely new. I think of it as a category-buster, and a disruptor – it’s familiar and understood but at the same time progressive and new.”
Kia says the new car will be based on its new E-GMP technology. This is a chassis platform with an integrated battery container that has a greater or lesser amount of cells depending on requirement. What’s more it has the ability to accept ultra rapid charging, so the battery can be replenished in just 18 minutes.
The new crossover is promised to travel over 500km on a charge - so a substantial 300+ miles from a charge (the Kia e-Niro has a 282 mile range, while the Soul EV is at 280 miles). This offers significant range enhancements which, coupled with the ultra rapid charging capability, will make the car a real contender on company car choice lists. What’s more, this is the first of seven new fully electric cars provided by Kia before 2027.
New Kia logo
The new Kia EV, which we can expect to go on the Gateway2Lease Kia leasing offers before the end of the year, will also be the first global model to bear Kia’s new logo.
The new logo introduces a very different look for the brand and Kia says that it symbolises Kia’s new brand purpose and the values it offers to customers.
The logo also drops the Motors from Kia Motors, offering a new tagline of ‘Movement that inspires’. “The new logo represents the company’s commitment to becoming an icon for change and innovation,” explains Ho Sung Song, Kia’s President and CEO. “The automotive industry is experiencing a period of rapid transformation, and Kia is proactively shaping and adapting to these changes. 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.”
And a new move into the mobility space
While the logo is new, the strapline - ‘Movement that inspires’ - also delineates a change of direction into flexible, environmentally conscious, and integrated forms of transportation, whether through collaboration with existing mobility providers, such as car-sharing service WiBLE in Madrid, Spain, which is a joint venture with oil company Repsol, or developing automated services in the future. A new business, KiaMobility, was launched in Italy and Russia at the back end of 2020, and will be rolled out in other countries in due course.
As a business user, what does this mean to you?
“It’s important to understand the ambitions of manufacturers who are making significant changes to the way they approach the market, because it will directly affect your business at some stage,” explains Rob Marshall, Operations Director of Gateway2Lease.
“In particular we see Kia being an important brand for business, not only with its current range of electric and plug-in electric vehicles, but for the future range of electric models that the brand has in the pipeline. With benefit in kind levels at record low levels - a £39,000 Kia e-Niro will cost a higher rate tax payer just £157 for the whole of the 2021/22 tax year, for example - directors and employees who have previously opted out of the company car should seriously consider switching back to company vehicle provision at the soonest opportunity.
“As if to make the point, Kia has just announced its results for 2020, showing its largest ever UK market share of 4.3% and with models such as the Niro Plug-in Hybrid growing 38.8% and the fully-electric e-Niro up by 213.5%.
“It’s clearly a brand on the move, and one which your business should consider as we move to an increasingly electrified future.”
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