Kia has announced its new logo will make its Australian debut on the incoming Kia Cerato mid-life facelift in May 2021, before being rolled out across much of the company's existing line-up over the ensuing months.
"The mid-life facelift, or what we call 'product enhancement', of the Kia Cerato arriving around May 2021 will be the first in our market to feature the new logo," a Kia spokesperson told CarAdvice.
"After that, it will appear as model-year changes occur across the existing range throughout the year.
"The all-new Sportage, which is expected closer to the end of the year, will be the first next-gen model in Australia to bear the badge."
While it's yet to make its formal debut on a production model, the logo is already appearing in decal form on the fleet of Australian Open Sorento, Carnival and Niro hybrid courtesy cars currently in use on the streets of Melbourne.
20 years of partnership with @Kia_Worldwide! ?Thanks @NickKyrgios and @DylanAlcott for helping us celebrate today and kick off #AO2021. The new Kia logo looks incredible ✨ #Kia | #MovementThatInspires | #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/Oy0vAZh63x— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 7, 2021
Replacing the existing logo, which has been in use since 1994, the fresh design sees the K, I and A joined in a "rhythmical, unbroken line [that] conveys Kia's commitment to bringing moments of inspiration".
The new logo was also accompanied by a refreshed global slogan, "Movement that Inspires", replacing "The Power to Surprise" tagline that's been in use since 2005.
Additionally, the company has changed its corporate name from 'Kia Motors' to simply 'Kia', allowing it to move away from a more traditional business model and expand into "new and emerging business areas by creating innovative mobility products and services to improve customers’ daily lives".
The transition is centred on a new phase in the Korean car brand's 77-year history: the electrification chapter.
As part of a long-term strategy to embrace sustainability, Kia has committed to launching seven new dedicated electric vehicles (EVs) by 2027, including SUVs, sedans, people movers, and small buses.
The first of these is expected to launch in the first half of 2021 – a small SUV codenamed the 'CV'.
As the brand's first dedicated battery-electric vehicle, the CV will feature a crossover-inspired design, electric driving range of over 500km and high-speed charging times of less than 20 minutes. It will also be the first global model to wear the new logo.
Kia will also introduce new hybrid models and new hybrid powertrain options for some of its existing models – the first of which, the Kia Niro, made its debut at the 2021 Australian Open, with 10 Niro cars included in the 130-strong courtesy fleet.
Along with hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants of the Niro, Australia is set to receive the fully-electric e-Niro this year, followed by a hybrid and plug-in hybrid version of the seven-seat Sorento.
Kia's 'Plan S' business strategy also includes a strong focus on sustainability, with the car maker moving to use clean energy and recyclable materials in its production process.
Additionally, it has committed to investing in "eco-friendly mobility services" such as car-sharing, ride-hailing and other shared mobility schemes.
"Changing our corporate name and logo is not only a cosmetic improvement," said Ho Sung Song, President and CEO of the Kia Corporation.
"It represents us expanding our horizons and establishing new and emerging businesses that meet and exceed the diverse needs of our customers worldwide."