Kia's "Plan Shift" will come into force early next year and will see the South Korean brand become "more dynamic, stylish, and inventive," according to the company’s global CEO. The first order of business is to adopt a new logo, which frankly has been a long time coming. It is believed the first car to wear the revised avatar will be the third-generation Cadenza (K7 in some markets).
A new report from our friends at The Korean Car Blog speculates Kia is planning quite a few changes for the large sedan, chief of which will be a push upmarket. To reflect its higher positioning in the lineup, it is believed the car will be going through a name change. At least in its domestic market, the K7 will be rebranded as a K8.
It’s unclear at this point whether the US-spec Cadenza will switch to the new moniker, but we won’t be too surprised if it happens since the smaller Optima has already switched to the K5 name. As previously reported, the next-gen Sedona already revealed in South Korea will possibly go through a name change as well stateside by borrowing the Carnival nameplate used by the minivan on its home turf.
Gallery: 2022 Kia Cadenza renderings
The K8 name change has been in the works for quite some time taking into consideration Kia trademarked "K8" back in 2016. Not just the regular model, but also "K8 GT-Line" and a "K8 GT," with the new report from TKCB saying the transition to K8 is already being communicated internally. The next-gen model is said to become more luxurious and grow in size, so it makes sense Kia wants the car’s new name to illustrate its high-end status.
Rumor has it the official unveiling is scheduled to take place in March ahead of a sales launch a couple of months later. By making it more sophisticated, Kia wants to avoid an overlap with the mechanically related Hyundai Grandeur (aka Azera), which in South Korea is outselling the K7 so far this year by a ratio of almost three to one.