One EV, one hybrid, and two ICE models
We have much to look forward to with Kia Philippines in the coming months and years.
First of all, Kia PH has a new head honcho. Chief Operating Officer Brian Buendia is set to lead the brand starting this July, as long-time Ayala executive and Kia Philippines president Manny Aligada is retiring at the end of the month. With a new leader at the helm, Kia wants a greater presence in the Philippine market.
So how are they going to do that? Well, one of the things they discussed are the introduction of four new models by 2024. Kia Philippines said they plan on launching two ICE models, a new-energy vehicle which we presume will be a hybrid, and another battery electric vehicle that will join the EV6.
As expected, Kia Philippines did not get much into specifics with these four new models and their timelines. But they did give us a clue about the two ICE models – one will be a refreshed model, and the other will be all-new. For the NEVs and BEVs however, we can only be left with a few educated guesses.
Based on their current lineup, the Seltos crossover could be the refreshed model. In global markets, the refreshed Seltos was revealed back in November 2022. Kia gave it a sleeker appearance, updated the interior features, and sports the new Kia corporate logo in its badges.
On the other hand, the all-new model Kia is referring to could be the Sportage. It's one of the models that have a name recall in the Philippine market, and the reintroduction of the nameplate along with its stylish design could definitely turn heads the Kia way.
If you're looking to get your hands on a hybrid soon, then you might want to wait on what Kia Philippines has to offer. Since it was first introduced in 2016, the Kia Niro has been an electrification-focused vehicle. And with Kia PH wanting to introduce a new-energy vehicle to its lineup, the Niro comes up for us as the one that's most likely to be brought to the market.
Available with hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric variants globally, the Kia Niro could be the model that bridges the gap between the Sorento ICE crossover and the fully-electric EV6.
Also, much like the Sorento and the Carnival, the all-new Sportage and the Niro hybrid are already being made in Kia's CKD factory in Malaysia this year. This makes the two models maximize the ASEAN free trade area (FTA) for zero tariffs, and in turn, allows Kia to give competitive pricing.
Speaking of fully-electric vehicles, we are looking at two possible candidates for this. Kia hinted at introducing high-performance GT variants in the Philippine market during the round table discussion, so this may point out to the more powerful EV6 GT joining the local lineup.
But on the other hand, Kia also has the flagship EV9 that they are yet to offer in the market. In South Korea, deliveries of the three-row EV SUV have already begun. By the time 2024 comes, then markets like ours could be given the chance to get the EV9.
As always, these plans could change and timelines may get delayed depending on the future moves of Kia Philippines. But do watch this space for further updates.