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Kia celebrates new face, slogan, declares future transformation

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Kia Motors Corporation has revealed its new corporate logo and global brand slogan signifying the automaker’s bold transformation and all-new brand purpose.

The introduction of the new logo is said to represents Kia’s ambitions to establish a leadership position in the future mobility industry by revamping nearly all facets of its business.

According to a statement by the automaker, the logo is a symbol of Kia’s new brand purpose and the values it promises to offer customers through future products and services, as well as the experiences these enable.

The new logo was unveiled during a record-breaking pyrotechnic display in the skies above Incheon, Korea.

“The event saw 303 pyrodrones launching hundreds of fireworks in a synchronized artistic display, igniting and celebrating Kia’s new beginning.

“This set a new Guinness World Record for ‘Most unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) launching fireworks simultaneously’”, it stated.

 

According to the firm, a new brand purpose and strategy will be revealed on January 15.

“In addition to an all-new logo, Kia revealed its new global brand slogan, ‘Movement that inspires’. Details on Kia’s new brand strategy, including brand purpose and philosophy as well as application to Kia’s future product line-up, will be shared through the digital ‘New Kia Brand Showcase’ event to be held at on Friday January 15, 2021,” it stated.

The firm also said, “Kia seals its brand promise by developing the new logo to resemble a handwritten signature. The rhythmical, unbroken line of the logo conveys Kia’s commitment to bringing moments of inspiration, while its symmetry demonstrates confidence.

“The rising gestures of the logo embody Kia’s rising ambitions for the brand, and, more importantly, what it offers customers.”

Kia’s President and CEO, Ho Sung Song, is quoted as saying, “Kia’s new logo represents the company’s commitment to becoming an icon for change and innovation.

“The automotive industry is experiencing a period of rapid transformation, and Kia is proactively shaping and adapting to these changes. Our new logo represents our desire to inspire customers as their mobility needs evolve, and for our employees to rise to the challenges we face in a fast-changing industry.”

The launch of the new logo is said to follow the announcement of Kia’s ‘Plan S’ long-term business strategy in 2020.

Under Plan S, Kia, among other objectives, has the ambition to take a leading position in the global car market.

This is said to focuse on popularizing electric vehicles and introducing a broad range of mobility services, tailored to meet the needs and tastes of individuals and local markets.

Founded in 1944, Kia has been in the ‘movement’ industry for more than 75 years with 52,000 employees worldwide and a presence in more than 190 markets.

It has manufacturing facilities in six countries and sells about three million vehicles a year.

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Hyundai working on new high-performance car

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Hyundai is planning a new version of the Ioniq 5 that will raise the performance of the electric model, according to a new report from the Korean automaker.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a Pony-styled electric hatchback that is already rear-drive as standard and offers 300 horsepower in top all-wheel drive guise.

That leaves plenty of performance for Hyundai N to unlock on the enthusiast side of the new E-GMP architecture underpinning the automaker’s new EVS, the report says.

Hyundai is also said to be working with hypercar maker Rimac to build a new top-of-range EV performance car, so it would not be much of a stretch to seek out some of that company’s assistance on the rest of its electric vehicles as well.

Chief Marketing Officer at Hyundai Motors, Thomas Schemera, confirmed the development, saying, “Everybody knows that our electric global modular platform (E-GMP) has a lot of potential and shows a lot of flexibility. One thing is for sure, eco-friendly models are on our priority list – at the top.

“We never stop thinking about extending our product portfolio and strategically, we are moving full speed ahead with eco-friendly offerings.

“We are moving ahead with our battery electric concept and our fuel-cell electric concepts.” So does that mean an Ioniq? “I guess it seems to be realistic,” he said.

Popular auto reviewer, Top Gear, thinks the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the Tesla rival many will want to own.

It says, “The automotive industry has been waiting for a legitimate and affordable Tesla Model 3/Y alternative for quite some time and with the Ioniq 5, it appears Hyundai has delivered just that.”

The Ioniq 5 is an all-new electric mid-size crossover and the first model to be branded under the new ‘Ioniq’ electric sub-brand.

According to carscoops.com, the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 rides on the dedicated Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), which blends the traditional skateboard design with an elongated wheelbase for attractively styled and practical EVs?

It also features both 400- and 800-volt charging, thanks to the new platform.

When plugged into a 350kW charger, the Ioniq 5 can recharge from 10 to 80 perbcent in just 18 minutes, with the carmaker claiming that five minutes of charging is enough to get 62 miles of range on the WLTP cycle.

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Scarcity of vital auto parts forces more automakers to shut down

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  • Ford suspends Mustang production May 3

Ford will be shutting down production of its Mustang on May 3-7 with a plan to resume assembling the pony car at a later date yet to be determined.

This is coming after many automobile manufacturers had announced the suspension of production of a number of models, especially the premium vehicles.

The reason for the production shutdowns is that there are not enough semiconductor chips to power all that flashy technology in new cars.

The outlook for the Mustang and other Ford models as well as other auto brands does not look exactly rosy.

Analysts say they have seen this problem for months now, with the GM having to cease production of different vehicles, notably the Chevy Camaro.

Fiat Chrysler (now part of Stellantis) has had to shut down the assembly lines for the Dodge Charger and Challenger as well as the Chrysler 300.

This problem has affected many other automakers such as Toyota, Nissan, Daimler and Porsche.

Industry analysts predict the chip shortages will limit the production of cars in the near term, but thankfully the problem will go away after a while.

In the meantime, this means you can expect to have a harder time finding and paying for certain new car models. It’s the simple economic rule of supply and demand.

Although with rough economic times, more people are holding onto older cars, so while supply is constrained, demand for some models is also lagging.

The shortages have caused automakers to drop some technological features from different models. For example, Stellantis announced it would be scrapping the digital speedometers on at least one Peugeot line.

Ford has been selling the F-150 without the fuel management module as a way to cut back on how many semiconductor chips it uses. Porsche is axing features like an 18-way-adjustable seat for the Macan SUV as a way to conserve its chip supply.

Another strategy to deal with the shortages has been for automakers to shut down production lines for vehicles with thinner profit margins. This means many cars, like the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, and Dodge Challenger, will see constrained supply.

Another example is Daimler shutting down its compact car plant in Germany where 18,500 workers are employed. Instead of pumping out more Mercedes-Benz C-Class vehicles, the company is looking to put what semiconductor chips it has into more expensive model lines so profits don’t take as big of a hit.

The creation of this problem is complex and there’s some contradicting information. Some say production shutdowns at semiconductor plants because of COVID-19 have fuelled the shortage. Others think it has been the overwhelming demand for computers, gaming consoles, smartphones, smart televisions, among others as people are spending most of their time trapped at home.

Another conjecture is that suppliers did not foresee automakers ramping up demand for chips so quickly after plant shutdowns and assembly line reductions last year. So they’re scrambling to ramp up production and that takes time.

This comes after demand for at least some new cars has almost exploded, something few saw coming so early, after all not many people were looking to buy vehicles because of the pandemic last year.

Whatever the cause, this shortage isn’t making the situation of rising car prices any better. Not only are some new vehicles selling for more as a result, demand for used vehicles continues to stay strong. Hopefully by this time next year this problem will be in the rearview mirror.

Sources: CNBC, New York Times, Automotive News Europe and Reuters

 

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FRSC suspends sale, use of faulty Opel Ampera e-vehicles in Nigeria

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The Federal Road Safety Corps has banned the sale and use of Opel Ampera-e vehicles manufactured between June 27, 2016 and September 5, 2019 due to battery problems said to pose a safety risk to drivers.

It stated this following a recall announcement by Frankfurt-Opel, maker of Ampera-E-EVs vehicles, of an estimated 10,000 of the Ampera-e vehicles built during the period.

A statement by the FRSC Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem, said the notice was issued as part of its statutory responsibility of enlightening the public on safe road use and in furthering the realisation of the United Nations resolution on Safe System approach, with particular emphasis on safe vehicles.

“This information is conveyed in compliance with the directive issued by the Federal Government, mandating FRSC and other key agencies to activate as a matter of urgency, speedy processes for robust public sensitisation on the inherent danger that could arise from continued use of the vehicles.”

It quoted the directive as saying, “I wish to draw your attention to a report which indicated that the European Union Rapid Alert System (RAPEX), for dangerous non-food products on 10th March, 2021, recalled Opel’s Ampera E motor vehicles manufactured between 27 June, 2016 and 5 September, 2019, due to the high voltage of battery which may fail at full charging capacity and thereby, increase risk of fire incidence.

“Considering the prevalence of Opel motor vehicles in Nigeria, it is advisable that you draw the attention of the motoring public and dealers to this development.”

It stated that based on the imminent danger this manufacturing error could cause to both the users of this vehicles and other road users,

Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, asked “dealers and users of these vehicles to desist from further sale or usage of such vehicles on Nigerian roads and contact the manufacturers for correction of the unravelled defect.”

The FRSC boss directed all corps commanding Officers to ensure that patrol operatives stop such vehicles from continuing their trips anywhere they are sighted on the nation’s highways.

“This is to ensure that the impending danger the continued use of the vehicle could cause is swiftly avoided to make room for safe travels,” the statement added.

Members of the motoring public were also urged to report any of such vehicles to the FRSC office or via their contact numbers.

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