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June 29, 2022

Ayala-Backed AC Motors Confirmed To Enter EV Segment

AC Motors, the mobility portfolio company of AC Industrials, an Ayala Corporation holding and investment company, has confirmed plans to enter the battery electric vehicle (BEV) space.

At the grand opening of AC Motors Centrale, a one-stop shop for the automotive and motorcycle brands that AC Motors carry, AC Industrials President and CEO Art Tan said, “AC Industrials is fully committed to support AC Motors as it plays a pivotal role entering the next stage of mobility—electrification. This venue [AC Motors Centrale] will become a part of our sustainable electric vehicle ecosystem, allowing our customers to comfortably enjoy the EV models which we will soon be introducing.”

Tan didn’t divulge any details during the launch, but earlier pronouncements made by Kia Philippines President Manny Aligada seems to support this thrust.

Late last year, Aligada said, “Yes, there is a plan to bring two general types of vehicles, on top of the regular models that we have, which are the purpose-built vehicles and EVs. The EVs are of high interest now.”

During the same panel, Kia Philippines’ Product Strategy and Planning Director Josh Altarejos said that these vehicles will be “focused on moving car or people.” However, he clarified that these won’t be based on any existing Kia model such as the K-Series. Instead, these will be all new. He added that they will likely be sourced from Korea.

Kia is one of the automotive brands under the AC Motors umbrella. Other brands under AC Motors are: Honda, Isuzu, Volkswagen, Maxus, KTM, and Husqvarna.

In Hyundai Group parlance, Purpose Built Vehicles (PBVs) refer to vehicles on a dedicated platform that’s similar in size to a mid-sized vehicle. Globally, Kia said its family of PBVs will roll out starting 2025 to meet the evolving needs of customers and market trends.

An example of a PBV in the current Hyundai Group line-up is the Staria. This could very well mean that Kia is developing their own version of the luxury MPV as seen in the teasers above (see lead photo).

Kia PBVs will be equipped with an OTA (Over the Air) functionality that can wirelessly update the vehicle’s software in real-time, which will have benefits for the total cost of ownership and ease of use.

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