Staff Reporters
Jun 17, 2021

Asia-Pacific Power List 2021: Artur Martins, Kia

A lifer in the car industry, Seoul-based Martins is the marketer in charge of selling a revamped and ambitious Kia to the world.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2021: Artur Martins, Kia
SEE THE FULL 2021 POWER LIST
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers
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Artur Martins

Vice president, global brand and marketing
Kia
Korea
New member

'Movement' is a key concept in Kia's recently relaunched brand, and in the career of Artur Martins. In the summer of 2019, the Portugal native moved to Seoul from Europe, where he had been Kia's VP of marketing and product since 2014—and where he is credited with driving sales growth of more than 35% in five years—to take up a post as VP of global brand and marketing. That made Martins the first non-Korean executive to hold a global role at Kia HQ. In less than a year, the company promoted him to the SVP level and gave him his current role as global chief brand officer and chief experience officer.

It's the kind of upward trajectory that the brand itself is hoping to emulate. Long the less inspiring of Hyundai's two auto marques, Kia has embarked on what it calls 'Plan S': an ambitious program to revamp its product line and become a "ceaselessly innovative brand". The company aims, it says, to progressively establish a leadership position in the future automotive industry, by focusing on mobility services, vehicle electrification, connectivity and autonomy. The roadmap includes 11 fully electric models by the end of 2025, when the company wants to have secured 6.6% of the global EV market: 500,000 annual EV sales.

Early this year, Martins debuted a much-needed global brand refresh—especially for a company with such ambitions of remaking itself. The overhaul included dropping the brand's 1990s-style, all caps logo and the dramatic unveiling of a sharply angled and stylised new logo (perhaps at the expense of legibility). In addition, Martins introduced a revamped look and feel and most importantly a new brand promise: Movement that inspires. The company is also dropping "Motors" from its name. In introducing the changes, Martins explained that Kia will make movement its mindset, always striving to make progress. This purpose not only will serve to animate the company's employees but also matches the ideals of consumers who are progressive, optimistic, and willing to change and adapt themselves for the future.

On the CSR front, Martins has spearheaded a partnership with tennis player (and global Kia brand ambassador) Rafael Nadal and his foundation.

Martins has spent his entire career in the car industry, starting with a university internship at Fiat, where he ended up staying for four years, marketing the company's Alfa Romeo brand. After that he made stops with Toyota in Spain, Volkswagen Group's Spanish Seat brand, and VW itself in Brazil, before joining Kia in Europe.

SEE THE FULL 2021 POWER LIST
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers
#LeadersForGood
 

 

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