The Managing Director of KIA Motors Iberia is a great fan of events like Mobility Car Experience. “For KIA, being there is strategic. There’s a big public attendance, and all the brands are there so buyers can see and compare. And when it comes to comparisons, we believe we’re the winner.”
“Regulators have imposed a zero-emissions target for 2040. If we want to achieve that goal in 20 years, we have to start now; there’s no other way,” says Eduardo Dívar.
At Mobility Car Experience, the public can find out about, view and test all of KIA’s hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric models. And, we’ll be unveiling the new KIA Sorento in Spain.
Eduardo Dívar, Managing Director of KIA Motors Iberia, is a big fan of events like Mobility Car Experience (Madrid, 5-10 May 2020). “For KIA, being at Mobility Car Experience is strategic. At this kind of event, there’s a big public attendance, and all the brands are there so buyers can visit different brands, look, and compare all under one roof. And when it comes to comparisons, we believe we’re the winner. For these reasons, we prefer to be there alongside the other brands, so that customers come to see us and can try our cars. But as well as that, we believe in local events, because we can sell there. In fact, we are one of the top-selling brands at this type of event. For the same reason: the customer sees, compares, decides and buys one of our cars.”
Is the traditional car show format outdated?
I think that the traditional exhibition format is suitable for Geneva or Frankfurt, but in Spain, we have already taken the next step, we’ve moved on. Both at the Barcelona Motor Show, Mobility Car Experience and local events, people can buy the car, which is what they want: go, see and buy. Sales fairs are much more interesting, in general, and for dealers. So, it’s much easier for brands to justify the investment. Today, you can’t make a big investment in a traditional fair; they have to be much more measured, and at an event where the customer can interact, see, try and buy.
What will KIA be showing at Mobility Car Experience in Madrid?
Two fundamental and very special things. The first is our electrified range. We’ll have an electrified car stand, with hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric models. This year almost our entire range will be electrified. We have a diverse range to offer to customers, many offers and things to show. Secondly, we are going to introduce the new Sorento, a new SUV with an American look that we believe will be very well received by the Spanish market. The new Sorento will provide hybrid and plug-in hybrid technology, and that’s a decisive step for people who want a big, family-friendly vehicle with new electrification technologies to reduce their carbon emissions and care for the environment.
What would you say to anyone thinking about visiting Mobility Car Experience?
Speaking anonymously, I would advise them to come to an event where they can see all the brands, and touch and try the cars. Speaking as KIA, I would naturally tell them to visit our stand. As well as being able to see our entire electrified range and try them, we’ll show them how an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid works. And we’ll give them such an irresistible price that, together with our seven-year guarantee, they won’t be able to refuse.
Is electrification a mature technology for the mass market?
That’s a complicated question because new regulations this year impose an average emissions limit of 95 grams of CO2, which is causing a shift in demand. We have to move from petrol and diesel to electric before society really needs it. But this is something imposed on us. We need to make customers aware, to create that need, and tell them about the advantages of switching to an electrified car, and that’s not something you can do in a year. It’ll take time because we have to do education and training for our dealer network, our sales people, and our customers. But this is what we have to live with now. And also, regulators have imposed a zero-emissions target for 2040, which means complete decarbonisation. If we want to achieve that goal by 2040, we have to start now; there’s no other way.
What percentage of KIA’s cars are electrified?
We have a long tradition in electrification, because back in 2011 we launched the plug-in hybrid Optima, and in 2014 the electric Soul. We ended last year with 17% of our range available electrified, and this year, as I said before, practically the entire KIA range will be available electrified. That means that around 40% of our range will be available electrified if you include hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric versions. But KIA’s goal, with the plan that we launched just under a month ago, is that by 2025 we have, not all, but practically the entire range electric. And I don’t mean electrified then, I mean electric: fifteen new electric models. We want to have a 6.6% share of the world market and 25 electrified models, which would include fifteen completely electric ones. In that way, KIA can become the leader in electrification by 2022 and be at the forefront of this market segment by 2025.
Do you expect exponential growth in electrified car sales?
I think there’s going to be an increase. I don’t know if we can meet the government’s target of five million electric cars by 2030. The way things are today, I don’t think so, because that would mean selling half a million electric vehicles a year, half of the Spanish market, and that seems difficult to achieve. But there will be a gradual increase in these sales. Logically, regulatory changes and the push by manufacturers, moving all their ranges towards electrification, have to lead to an increase. Forecasts, a few years ago, were for gradual growth to reach 35,000 electric cars by 2024, but I believe we’ll beat that forecast. We won’t reach the half-million needed to reach five million, but in two or three years we’ll be able to achieve annual sales of 100,000 hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric cars in Spain.