Kia is gearing up to introduce its first electric seven-seater vehicle in the United States by the end of this year, and the company is taking a proactive step to protect its customers from potential price markups. Interested buyers can already secure their reservations for the base model, the EV9 Light, priced at $56,395, which includes a $1,495 shipping fee. Kia has reportedly communicated with its dealers, urging them to maintain pricing in line with the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP).
A letter obtained by CarsDirect, sent by Kia to its U.S. dealers, emphasizes the importance of transparency and a fair purchase experience for EV9 customers. The letter reads, “The EV9 customer is an important new owner to the Kia brand, and price transparency will be paramount as part of their purchase experience. We ask dealers to retail the EV9 without mark-up over the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price.”
While the effectiveness of this strategy remains uncertain, it is worth noting that when Kia launched the EV6 in the United States over a year ago, some dealers imposed substantial markups. Reports indicated markups of up to $20,000 over the MSRP, driven by the minimal margins between the MSRP and invoice prices at the time. The current margin levels for the new EV9 are unknown, making it challenging for dealers to adhere strictly to the MSRP.
The first deliveries of the Kia EV9 in the United States are slated for the final quarter of this year. This electric three-row SUV offers a range of trim levels, including the Light Long Range RWD, Wind AWD, Land AWD, and GT-Line AWD. The range-topping model, the GT-Line AWD, starts at $75,395, which includes the $1,495 destination and shipping charge. It features a dual-motor electric powertrain producing a peak output of 379 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque.
Initially, the EV9 vehicles delivered to the American market will be imported from South Korea. However, Kia has plans to commence local production of the electric SUV in West Point, Georgia, sometime in 2024. The automaker's proactive stance on pricing aims to ensure that customers receive a fair and transparent buying experience as they embrace the electrified future of transportation.