Kia Launches Dealer-Based Mobility Solution in Europe

Kia has joined the automakers’ assault on the personal mobility market by launching its KiaMobility solution in Europe.

This dealer-led car user service allows consumers to rent vehicles from dealers for just a single day or up to a whole year. The automaker is hoping the scheme will have the twin effect of cashing in on the consumer’s demand for new modes of transportation following the COVID-19 outbreak while also supporting its dealer networks reeling from a downturn in vehicle sales.

It has developed its own fleet management platform for the mobility service, allowing collective operation of vehicles at the dealership. The platform is designed to provide personalized service for customers to reserve vehicles of their choice, pay via a mobile app and visit the dealer for pick-up and drop-off of the vehicles, which undergo thorough sanitation to ensure safety.

The service is first being launched at 16 locations through dealerships in Italy and Russia. Following the pilot scheme, Kia plans to expand the service next year in Europe and other regions such as Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Middle East. The move is in line with Kia’s ‘Plan S’ strategy it revealed in January and reflects the company’s intentions to develop a diverse range of mobility services and promote electric vehicles worldwide.

In Korea, Kia operates the ‘Kia Flex’ vehicle subscription program, with a fleet of up to 200 vehicles available for use. In Europe, the company established ‘WiBLE’ car sharing service in 2018 to enable users to rent and return vehicles at designated locations with its ‘free-floating’ system. The automaker also provided 200 e-Niros to the car-hailing firm Lyft in North America last year and has partnered with companies such as Grab, Ola, and Revv to prepare for changes in the mobility service domain in emerging markets.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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