Why Kia unveiled a new brand logo and slogan

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TOKYO – Kia has unveiled a new, more modern, script-like brand logo to replace its aged oval mark and help jumpstart the South Korean carmaker’s planned brand relaunch.

As part of the makeover, Kia Motors Corp. has also adopted a new slogan: Movement that Inspires. The new emblem and catchphrase were both unveiled Wednesday during a pyrotechnical display in the skies above Incheon, South Korea, that used 303 drones launching fireworks.

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

The reworked logo and fresh tagline will herald an updated business strategy that Kia CEO Ho Sung Song plans to unveil on Jan. 15. In an interview with Automotive News late last year, Song said Kia would dump its long-in-the-tooth oval and embark on a brand “relaunch” this month.

The Jan. 15 event, dubbed a digital “New Kia Brand Showcase,” will outline the overhaul.  

Song wants Kia wants to ramp up of mass production of electric vehicles through 2025 and rapidly expand into what the company calls purpose-built vehicles, or PBVs. These are runabouts dedicated to new mobility enterprises such as ride hailing, robotaxis and on-the-go e-commerce.

All told, Kia is investing $25 billion in new technologies through 2025.

“The automotive industry is experiencing a period of rapid transformation, and Kia is proactively shaping and adapting to these changes,” Song said in the company’s Jan. 6 statement. “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 new logo’s rhythmical, unbroken line conveys “Kia’s commitment to bringing moments of inspiration,” the company said, linking the look to the brand’s new slogan.

Kia has been using variants of its current logo –- with the word KIA encircled by an oval –- since 1994, with minor tweaks in 2004 and 2012. The new badge adopts a stylized, almost runic, script in which the capital letters K-I-A are joined with a modern flare. Kia teased a version of it on the Imagine electric concept car it showed at the 2019 Geneva auto show.

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Saurabh Shukla

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