Apparently, Kia is struggling once again with a flagship model on its local market. Kia’s current flagship model, the EV9, suffered a precipitous drop in sales just three months after its launch and this made people at Kia to remember some old ghosts from the past that apparently have gone.
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.
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.
EV9 is about to go on sale in several countries like Europe or the United States, will it suffer the same fate?