Capitalizing on the move away from public transport.
Kia's getting ready for a full-electric onslaught, with 11 fully electric models on the market by 2025, and an all-electric Kia Forte already confirmed for the Chinese market. Auto Express reports that Kia will be branching out and developing an electric city car that will be smaller than the subcompact Kia Rio and the current smallest EV on sale in the US, the Chevrolet Bolt. The primary focus of the new EV will be European markets, where small city cars are all the rage because of space constraints, and it's uncertain whether or not it could make it stateside. It could, however, be an ideal way of capturing the city car market and furthering the automaker's EV development and brand awareness.
The car is expected to ride on the new skateboard EV platform developed by Hyundai and Canoo, which can be scaled to underpin a variety of applications from city cars to Porsche Taycan rivals. The use of such a platform will also help reduce the costs of production, which will be absolutely vital if the model is to become a sales success. In Europe, the tiny Kia will need to rival the Citroen Ami, an electric city car which is priced at around $6,500, less than half the price of the current cheapest car in the United States, the Chevrolet Spark.
In an interview with Auto Express, Kia Motors Europe COO Emilio Herrera said the brand would be looking to capitalize on the recent coronavirus pandemic. "People want to feel safe today. We saw that very clearly from a survey that was done after the virus in China, which showed that people had moved from public transportation to private transportation." In China, private vehicle use jumped from 34% pre-pandemic to 65% post, with people feeling safer in their own cars than in public transport vehicles.
When speaking about the new microcar, Herrera didn't dismiss the potential for "a subscription model, or you can rent it for a week or month, so it needs to be pretty flexible like public transportation. We're really looking at very low monthly prices for subscription, so it can really compete."