Kia Motors signed a contract to supply next-generation tactical trucks (medium-sized standard vehicles) worth ₩1.7 trillion ($1.4 billion) with the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army Headquarters. In October 2019, the ROK Army Headquarters shortlisted Kia Motors and Hanwha Defense, as the final bidders; it selected Kia Motors through internal evaluation. Hanwha Defense challenged the selection in court claiming that evaluation was not properly conducted, but the court dismissed the application.
Approximately 10,000 trucks will be acquired to replace the army’s existing Kia Motors K511 (KM250) and K711 (KM500) trucks. Delivery will start in 2024. It is not stated by when the 10,000 trucks target would be achieve. A bullet-proof version of the medium-sized standard vehicle is planned to transport troops. The up-armoured version is reported to be able to withstand 7.62 mm rounds besides low-grade IEDs. Kia has plans to offer the truck for exports after meeting the requirements of the ROK Army.
Kia Motors partner with Hyundai Motor Co. to develop the military vehicles based on Hyundai’s upper midsize Pavise truck and come in 5 tons and 2.5 tons variants. Kia is the only South Korean carmaker that has research and development workforce and production facilities for military vehicles. It has exported over 23,000 military vehicles to 20 countries. Hyundai owns a 34-percent stake in Kia and they together form the world’s fifth-biggest carmaker by sales.