Bermaz Auto (BAuto) has outlined further plans for its Kia brand, which it acquired in April. This was revealed in a Maybank IB Research investor report published earlier this week.
For the Kia brand, the company is aiming to revitalise interest in the Korean brand with an aggressive push involving new models as well as through electrification. On the petrol front, these will be made up of the three CKD models that the company had previously outlined for this market.
The identity of two were mentioned during the announcement of the franchise acquisition, and these were the Seltos SUV and new Carnival MPV. Previously, it was reported that CKD assembly for the Carnival and Seltos would only take place from next year, likely from the later half.
Now, the third locally-assembled model has been revealed – the recently-unveiled fifth-gen Sportage will make its way here in both petrol and plug-in hybrid forms. The latter variant is one of the electric vehicle (EV) models scheduled as part of the electrification roadmap for BAuto across all its three brands, along with Peugeot and Mazda.
Subject to an attractive EV policy (which has yet to be announced) and approval from the principal, the company said it is looking to introduce the brand’s flagship EV6 and Niro battery electric vehicles next year to join the Sportage PHEV variant as the three EV models planned for the market. Interest will definitely centre on the EV6, which features 800V architecture fast-charging to 80% in 18 minutes and up to 510 km of operating range on a single charge.
While pricing was not indicated, the company revealed that its EV models will have subscription-based plans to address cost/ warranty issues. It added that it has also identified private charging operators (PCOs) to collaborate with on the development of the EV charging infrastructure, but did not detail these, so we’ll have to wait for elaboration on this front.
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