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Kia to establish its first electric PBV plant as it accelerates electrified mobility

 E-FOREST is the brand name for Kia’s new smart
factory ecosystem that pursues innovation in manufacturing systems by
organically connecting everything to realise customer value. The initial ‘E’
signifies progress in the overall mobility industry in terms of efficiency and
economics. It also represents the ambition to achieve innovation for everyone
by connecting elements such as artificial intelligence, robot technology, and
ICT to provide its customers with the very best products. The ‘Forest’ part of
the nomenclature refers to an ecosystem that harmonises all these elements to
function as one.  


About Kia South Africa – www.kia.co.za


Kia South Africa was founded in April 1998, and is incorporated under Motus Corporation as the official importer and distributor of Kia vehicles in southern Africa. Kia South Africa has a dealership footprint spanning more than 60 dealerships throughout southern Africa, and offers a full range of passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles, all with an industry-leading Unlimited Kilometre/5- year warranty.


About Kia Corporation – www.kia.com


Kia is a global mobility brand with a vision to create sustainable mobility solutions for consumers, communities, and societies around the world. Founded in 1944, Kia has been providing mobility solutions for more than 75 years. With more than 52,000 employees worldwide, a presence in more than 190 markets, and manufacturing facilities in six countries, the company today sells around three million vehicles a year. Kia is spearheading the popularization of electrified and battery electric vehicles and developing a growing range of mobility services, encouraging millions of people around the world to explore the best ways of getting around. The company's brand slogan – ‘Movement that inspires’ – reflects Kia’s commitment to inspire consumers through its products and services.


About Motus – www.motus.co.za


Motus is South Africa’s leading automotive group, employing more than 16,500 people. We are a diversified (non-manufacturing) business in the automotive sector with unrivalled scale and scope in South Africa, a selected international presence primarily in the United Kingdom and Australia, as well as a limited presence in Southeast Asia and Southern and East Africa. Motus traces its roots back to 1948, when its founding company Imperial Holdings Limited started as a single motor dealership in downtown Johannesburg. Motus was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in November 2018, following its unbundling from Imperial Holdings Limited 


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Kia’s future

When operation begins in the second half of 2025, the new PBV facility will build a mid-sized PBV, Kia’s first dedicated PBV model. Kia’s first dedicated PBV will be based on Kia’s ‘eS’ skateboard platform, explicitly developed for PBVs. The new platform can flexibly accommodate various PBV model sizes in response to diverse customer demands. Following the launch of the model codenamed SW, Kia will diversify into unmanned micro-sized PBVs, general logistics, fresh food, multi-seat shuttles and large PBVs that can be used as mobile offices or shops.

Each of Kia’s innovative PBVs will be equipped with an OTA (Over the Air) functionality that can wirelessly update the vehicle’s software in real-time, which will have benefits for the total cost of ownership and ease of use.

Kia continues to introduce multiple forward-thinking initiatives to evoke the sustainable mobility shift, including: The Ocean Cleanup Project; Blue Carbon project; Joining the Climate Group’s RE100; and the launch of the Niro Plus, a derivative PBV as a full electric taxi in Korea and which is under consideration for introduction to other markets, including South Africa.

Hyundai Motor Group (the Group), Kia’s mother brand, aims to sell 3.23 million EVs a year globally by 2030, aiming for 12% percent of the global EV market. The Group is set to be a game-changer in the global electric vehicle market with overwhelming performance and value beyond the competition. In the first quarter of 2022, the Group's sales of electric vehicles stood at 76,801 units, rising by a whopping 73% from the same period last year.

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Kia continues to introduce multiple forward-thinking initiatives to evoke the sustainable mobility shift, including: The Ocean Cleanup Project; Blue Carbon project; Joining the Climate Group’s RE100; and the launch of the Niro Plus, a derivative PBV as a full electric taxi in Korea and which is under consideration for introduction to other markets, including South Africa.

Hyundai Motor Group (the Group), Kia’s mother brand, aims to sell 3.23 million EVs a year globally by 2030, aiming for 12% percent of the global EV market. The Group is set to be a game-changer in the global electric vehicle market with overwhelming performance and value beyond the competition. In the first quarter of 2022, the Group's sales of electric vehicles stood at 76,801 units, rising by a whopping 73% from the same period last year.

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  • Kia will establish its first manufacturing facility dedicated to producing electric Purpose Built Vehicles (PBVs)
  • Kia’s foray into the PBV sector is a pivotal step outlined in the company’s Plan S strategy, with the ultimate aim to become a global leader in sustainable mobility solutions
  • Construction of new facility to begin in the first half of 2023; production to start in the second half of 2025
  • The facility will feature the company’s pioneering ‘E-FOREST’ smart manufacturing ecosystem, driven by data, connectivity, and robotics technologie

18 May 2022 – Kia Corporation, which is in the midst of a transition into a sustainable mobility provider, has announced it will establish an all-new, high-tech smart manufacturing facility dedicated to producing electric Purpose Built Vehicles (PBVs).

The intelligent new production hub for PBVs will be located within Kia’s existing Hwaseong manufacturing site in South Korea. The company plans to begin construction in the first half of 2023, with the aim to commence commercial production in the second half of 2025.

The plant will initially be able to build 100,000 PBVs a year, with the capacity to increase production to 150,000 units annually in line with the growth of PBV market.

“This dedicated PBV facility is one of the major pillars of our Plan S strategy as Kia seeks to claim the top position in the global PBV market,” said Ho Sung Song, President and CEO of Kia Corporation. “We will initially explore new markets with derivative PBV models, then gradually expand our presence in global markets with dedicated PBV models featuring autonomous driving technologies.”

Kia is one of the first global organisations to make headway into the PBV market, and as part of its Plan S roadmap, the brand aims to become a PBV leader by 2030. When combined with autonomous driving technology, PBVs are expected to offer a revolutionary new means of transportation that further enrich society and communities around the globe.

The new PBV plant will feature state-of-the-art automation processes combined with advanced technologies that reduce carbon emissions during the production processes. The site is also equipped with clean painting and energy-saving facilities to minimise environmental impacts further.

Kia EV9 receives Best of the Best at Red Dot awards

Kia EV9 receives Best of the Best at Red Dot awards

The Kia EV9 has been recognised with a prestigious Best of the Best award at the recent Red Dot awards in the category for Product Design 2024 in the Cars and Motorcycles category. This success at the highest level of the global design competition acknowledges the contribution that Kia as a brand and the EV9 in particular, has made to setting exceptional standards for design innovation.  

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