• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Kia secures dual recognition as the world’s greatest auto disruptor of 2024

Kia secures dual recognition as the world’s greatest auto disruptor of 2024

Kia has secured double victory in two different categories at this year’s World’s Greatest Auto Disruptors Awards. The EV9 emerged winner of ‘Research and Development Disruptor of the Year’ and Karim Habib, executive vice president and head of Kia Global Design, was named ‘Design Disruptor of the Year’.

Announced at the Newsweek headquarters in New York, the World’s Greatest Auto Disruptors Awards recognise those driving fundamental, transformative change with measurable real-world results.

Karim Habib has been a central figure in Kia’s success since his arrival in 2019 and is the driving force behind the brand’s award-winning Opposites United design philosophy.

Taking inspiration from the contrasts found in nature and humanity, Opposites United shapes the exterior, interior, colour, and materials employed across all new Kia models, and is particularly evident in the striking styling of the EV9.

“It makes me extremely happy that Kia is seen as pushing the boundaries when it comes to design, and I believe that it is essential for designers to consistently take creative risks.

“It is important that design remains authentic to our brand values. At Kia, an innovative and forward-thinking mindset is an intrinsic quality, essential for providing relevant and meaningful products and experiences. We want our brand to provide environmentally responsible mobility for all, and we want our brand to be a symbol of innovation and progressive solutions,” Habib said while announcing his award.

Kia EV9 features multiple innovative R&D features including 800V architecture, Over the Air update technology, and a drag coefficient of just 0.28 – despite its available 7.8 inches of ground clearance and seven-seat capacity. With an affordable entry price and an EPA-estimated 304-mile range on the Light Long Range, EV9 brings next-generation technology, luxury, and efficiency to more buyers than ever before.

Heuiwon Yang, president and head of Kia R&D Division, said: “Kia R&D is driven by process, but not limited by it. At Kia, our engineers have the agency and trust to accelerate development, pioneer new technology, and deliver improvements faster than the industry average.

He said EV9 was designed to reshape expectations in the segment, but affordability is a defining factor in the three-row mainstream segment—especially for growing families.