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Kia to launch subscription service and 11 new electric vehicles

Kia will roll-out its Korean car subscription service - Kia Flex - globally and strengthen its electric vehicle (EV) line-up by 2026 with 11 new models.

The manufacturer unveiled its plan to focus on EVs and mobility solutions at the 2021 CEO Investor Day, held digitally today (Tuesday, February 9) in Seoul.

Kia announced its shift to become a provider of personalised, customer-centric and sustainable mobility services under the ‘Plan S’ strategy it revealed in January, last year.

The plan outlined the company’s intentions to develop a range of mobility services and increase EV production.

The ‘Kia Flex’ vehicle subscription service, which currently only operates in Korea, offers a new car, including maintenance, repairs, insurance and car tax, for a monthly fee.

Kia says it will launch a global version later this year under the name Kia Subscription. It will be operated by Sixt Leasing, which was acquired by Hyundai Motor Group last year, and the vehicles will be provided by the company's regional affiliates and dealers.

In Spain, the company’s flagship car-sharing service Wible will also be expanded with Wible Más and Wible Empresas (tentatively named).

The car usership service ‘KiaMobility’, which was launched in September last year as a pilot project in Italy and Russia, will also launch in additional European markets.

In the business-to-government and business-to-business, Kia will launch an EV-based service that combines subscription and car-sharing. Under this new mobility service concept, vehicles will be used for business on weekdays and rented by individuals on the weekends.

Ho Sung Song (pictured), president and CEO of Kia Corporation, said: "Kia is being reborn in 2021 with a new logo, new design, and new corporate name.

"Kia will transform into a brand that excites and inspires customers with innovative mobility experiences.”

The renewed ‘Plan S’ strategy is underpinned by three core pillars: advancing electric vehicle (EV) transition, strengthening purpose-built vehicle (PBV) business, and expanding future mobility services.

By 2030, EVs, plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs) and mild hybrids will make up 40% of all sales for Kia, with an annual sales target of 1.6 million units. As part of this, Kia aims to grow EV sales to 880,000 units in 2030 and become a top global seller, it says.

Starting with the launch of its first dedicated EV later this year, Kia will strengthen its EV lineup by 2026 with 11 new models – seven dedicated EVs built on the Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) architecture, and four based on existing ICE derivatives.

EVs built on E-GMP aim to set “new benchmarks” in range, driving performance, interior space, and tech application.

The EVs will function as smart devices with expanded application of audio video navigation telematics (AVNT), over-the-air and feature on demand services, it says.

The first dedicated EV from Kia, codenamed CV, will be featured with HDA2 (Highway Driving Assist Level 2) technology. Starting in 2023, Kia EVs will be equipped with Highway Driving Pilot (HDP), a crucial autonomous driving Level 3 development.

Further product details and performance specifications for the CV will be revealed next month, said Kia.

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