We already have talked about EV9 sluggish sales in South Korea and now, Kia’s CEO Ho-Sung Song, talked about at KIA EV Day where recognized the problem and said “although the EV9 is performing poorly and falling short of expectations, it is achieving meaningful results”.
Mr. Song was asked about the EV9’s sluggish performance at the first ever Kia EV Day held on Thursday and added “It is still insufficient, but we are heading in the intended direction,” and said that the EV9 is currently taking its place in the market as planned.
According to South Korean sales chart Kia sold only 408 units of the EV9 in the domestic market during August, which means a decline of over 67% compared to July. In its official debut month of June, 1,334 units were sold in South Korea, followed by 1,251 units in July, 480 in August and got 1,163 in September after activating an important discount for company employees.
Some people said the problem is the high price, a stigma that Kia has been suffering for long time when launching flagship models. But there’s more, several software glitches and dwindling electric car popularity could be helped too.
The EV9 suffered early quality issues that could also contributed to the sluggish sales. According to South Korea’s Ministry of Transport, the EV9 had been recalled due to several issues like charging control errors, transmission control unit Parking gear recognition errors, lamp control signal processing errors, and missing diagnostic data within the vehicle control unit. The last issue is related to the Highway Driving Assist 2 which isn’t working with speeds over 80 km/h.
The EV9, the first large electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) in Korea, is priced between 73.37 million won ($56,000) and 81.69 million won ($62,000), depending on options. With all added options, the price can reach 100 million won ($75,000). To compare it, it is expected that Genesis GV90 high-end all-electric SUV will cost 100 million won, which left the Kia EV9 in a bad situation.
Furthermore, premium electric car sellers such as Mercedes with the EQS, BMW and the iX, and Audi and their e-tron are also offering around interesting discounts, making it harder for the EV9 to stand out. Tesla is also offering huge discounts on their Model X.
The program launched by Kia, the EV9 Total Solution, consists in some benefits such as up to 84 months of long-term installments, charging fee support and guaranteed used car prices.
EV9 is about to go on sale in several countries like Europe or the United States, will it suffer the same fate?