Kia to built a new plant in the domestic market for the first time in 25 years. According to industry sources, Kia decided to build a dedicated purpose-based vehicle (PBV) factory in Hwaseong. The first dedicated PBV is planned to be introduced in 2025 after completion of the new plant in 2024. The goal is to become the number one player in the global PBV market by 2030.
Experts believe that a dedicated factory will be necessary as the PBV is designed based on the recently announced “eS” platform, a new skateboard platform exclusively for electric vehicles.
This is the background of Kia’s decision to build a new factory 25 years after it built the 3rd Hwaseong Factory back in 1997. The specific investment size has not been confirmed.
PBV is a vehicle that specializes in providing delivery and logistics services in response to the rapidly growing e-commerce (e-commerce) market. If global logistics and distribution companies place an order according to the purpose, it is custom-made. General Motors (GM) and Toyota have already announced they’re entering this market.
First PBV or “PBV01” will be the Niro EV based Taxi. The first dedicated PBV will arrive in 2025.
In 2025, Kia plans to first introduce a mid-size PBV that provides services such as car-hailing and delivery. It is a mobility means equipped with an indoor height of up to 1.8m, durability of 600,000 km, over-the-air update (OTA), and level 4 fully autonomous driving. Next, it plans to release a micro-autonomous PBV optimized for small parcels and food delivery, a medium-sized robot taxi PBV, and a large PBV that can be used as a multi-seater shuttle that replaces existing buses.
Kia decided to build a new painting factory next year. After that, construction of the body shop and assembly plant will be started sequentially. It plans to mass-produce pickup trucks from December 2024, when the production line connecting the body-painting-assembly is completed. In July 2025, medium-sized PBV production will begin. Kia aims to sell 1.5 million global units based on the entire vehicle life cycle by combining all four types of PBVs it is planning.
Hyundai Motor Company is also reviewing the establishment of a factory dedicated to electric vehicles. The industry believes that the exclusive plant is highly likely to enter the US, Hyundai Motor’s largest electric vehicle market.
Source – Kia