Kia is asking dealers to avoid tags on its new EV9 electric SUV
Kia is asking its dealers to avoid tags on its new EV9 electric SUV. The automaker says its first three-row electric SUV is garnering “huge interest from consumers” as it is expected to arrive in dealerships by the end of the year.
After opening orders for the EV9 last month, Eric Watson, Kia America’s vice president of sales, said it has “already attracted significant consumer interest through pre-orders.”
Kia called the EV9’s starting price of $54,900 a “wake-up call for the industry” as the automaker looks to tap into its largest market.
Now, Kia is asking dealers to pass on the savings to customers. In a letter sent to dealers this week, Kia explained the importance of the EV9 to the brand.
According to the online automotive research company Cars Direct“The EV9 customer is an important new owner of the Kia brand, and pricing transparency will be of utmost importance as part of their purchasing experience,” the letter said.
“We are asking dealers to retail the EV9 without increasing the manufacturer’s suggested retail price,” Kia added.
Kia asks dealers to avoid EV9 signs
Can Kia dictate prices? After all, the trader sets prices based on supply and demand.
We’ve seen other long-awaited electric models, like Chevy’s Blazer EV, whose prices have risen by as much as $10,000 at several dealerships.
Meanwhile, when Kia’s first dedicated electric vehicle, the EV6, was introduced, prices were reported to have risen to $20,000.
After about two years, the market changed. Many new electric models have appeared on the market, creating new competition. Meanwhile, Tesla’s price cuts this year are forcing many automakers to follow suit.
Kia is introducing a new long-range EV6 “Light” model in 2024 that offers more range at a cheaper price to match. The 2024 EV6 Light Long Range will have an MSRP of $45,950 with a range of up to 310 miles. Buyers can save $2,750 over the 2024 Wind model, starting at $48,700.
The brand’s EV6 set a new sales record in October, with 1,542 models sold, an increase of 30% over last year. However, the three-row EV9 is expected to play a bigger role in the company’s shift to electric vehicles.
As the report notes, Kia’s attempt to prevent EV9 tags is a good effort, but there’s only so much the automaker can do.
Other legacy automakers like Ford and GM have dealt with their own struggles convincing dealers to move to electric vehicles.
Meanwhile, electric vehicle makers like Tesla and Rivian have the advantage of a direct-to-consumer model. Many automakers, including Volvo, are turning to online sales models to streamline deliveries.
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