Kia is planning to expand its partnerships with global mobility companies as part of its Plan S strategy to offer more transport services.
Kia’s president and chief executive Ho Sung Song shared the company’s strategy for global mobility during his visit to the company’s Sohari plant in Korea to review launch preparations for the new fourth-generation Kia Carnival.
Song said: “Kia is striving to provide customised products and differentiated mobility services based on its long history in automotive manufacturing.
“Kia will further enhance its collaboration with global partners to offer regionally customised mobility services as it implements its ‘Plan S’ strategy.”
In Europe, Kia will collaborate with global partners to provide a customised mobility service for the region.
In 2018, Kia established a car-sharing service called ‘WiBLE’ with Spanish energy company Repsol. WiBLE enables users to rent and return vehicles at designated locations with its ‘free-floating’ system.
It currently operates 500 Niro PHEVs and is one of the leading car-sharing providers in Spain.
Building on the platform, Kia plans to provide multi-modal mobility services* in the future.
Kia will also launch a dealer mobility service in Italy and Russia later this year.
This is a new service enabling dealers to rent out their vehicles for any period, from a single day up to a full year.
Kia will expand the service gradually across the globe in future.
In North America, Kia will accelerate its electrification efforts and further enhance its cooperation with its mobility partners.
The company provided 200 Niro EVs to the car-hailing firm Lyft last year, and this year provided 44 Niro HEVs to MoceanLab, Hyundai Motor Group’s mobility service company.
MoceanLab was established last year to provide mobility services in Los Angeles, and plans to expand its services to include autonomous ridesharing, shuttling, multi-modal transportation, and personal mobility.
Kia plans to develop new products tailored to enhance mobility services based on data from MoceanLab’s service vehicles.
In emerging markets, Kia is also preparing for changes in the mobility service domain.
Kia has partnered with companies such as Ola, India’s largest ride-hailing company; Revv, an Indian car-sharing company; and Grab, Southeast Asia’s largest ride-hailing company.
In Korea, Kia will enhance its local ‘Kia Flex’ vehicle subscription program by expanding the fleet size to 200 vehicles.
The vehicle line-up will include the new Carnival, which is nearing its Korean market launch, and a new EV model to be added in the future.
Kia launched its new electric vehicle mobility service called Purple M in a new joint venture with Korean autonomous technology company Code42.ai in July this year.
Both companies plan to create new concepts for mobility and transportation-as-a-service products underpinned by Code42.ai’s proprietary Urban Mobility Operating System (UMOS).