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Kia updates EV strategy, first purpose-built electric to debut next month

The automaker wants to become an electrified-vehicle powerhouse in the coming years.

2021 Kia Investor Day
This South Korean automaker is hard at work on a broad range of electrified vehicles.

On Tuesday, South Korean automaker Kia announced important updates to its "Plan S" business strategy. The news was part of its 2021 CEO investor day, which was hosted digitally.

This is shaping up to be a big year for the company. It already introduced a new logo and slogan and it's announced that a range of electrified vehicles is in the works, with 11 new models including seven dedicated EVs scheduled to hit the market by 2026. Today, we get a few more numbers.

By 2030, Kia wants its latest crop of eco-friendly vehicles to account for 40% of global sales, or deliveries of around 1.6 million units. This includes hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure-electric vehicles. It also wants to increase its dedicated EV sales to 880,000 by the same year, becoming the world leader in the process.

Seven of the fresh models Kia is launching will ride atop the new Electric-Global Modular Platform, or E-GMP for short. The remainder will be based on existing architectures. E-GMP aims to set new benchmarks in driving range, interior space and performance, though GM *with its new Ultium battery system) and Tesla aren't standing still. Vehicles based on this platform will also support over-the-air updates and feature-on-demand services.

The first purpose-built EV that's leading the charge in Kia's product offensive is codenamed "CV" and will feature Level 2 highway driving assist. More details about this enigmatic electric vehicle will be released next month.

Kia is also aiming to expand its purpose-built vehicle offerings, PBVs for short, which ride atop specialized skateboard-style platforms. These are models designed to meet the needs of specific global markets, a strategy that should help it sell more vehicles by appealing to as many drivers as possible. Kia wants PBVs to rack up annual sales of 1 million units by 2030.

On the mobility services front, Kia will expand its existing car-sharing and car-usership offerings in countries like Spain and Russia. The automaker will also launch EV-based subscription and car-sharing services for businesses.

Operating profit margin was something else announced at Kia's investor day. The company expects this figure to rise to 5.4% in 2021 and grow to 7.9% in 2025. Delivering this increase, Kia aims to grow its sales to 3.8 million units in 2025, with eco-friendly vehicles accounting for around 22% of those deliveries. A better product mix and more profitable EVs should add to the company's bottom line.

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