Kia’s first electric seven-seater will start arriving in the United States before the end of the year. Customers can already make reservations at $56,395 (including $1,495 shipping) for the base EV9 Light. It turns out the South Korean manufacturer wants to protect its clients from markups and is reportedly asking its dealers to keep the prices unchanged compared to the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price.
CarsDirect has obtained a letter sent from Kia to its dealers in the United States, where it politely asked the retailers to play it nice with the EV9 customers. "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," the letter read.
Gallery: 2024 Kia EV9 in US specification
Will this strategy work? It is difficult to tell for the time being but CarsDirect recalls the EV6 had massive markups from some dealers when it was launched in America more than a year ago. At the time, markups of $20,000 over MSRP were reported but those hikes appeared unavoidable considering the minimal margins between the MSRP and invoice prices. We don’t know whether Kia keeps the same margin levels for the new EV9 but if that’s indeed the case, keeping the electric SUV at MSRP might prove to be almost impossible for the dealers.
The first deliveries of the EV9 in the United States are scheduled for the final quarter of this year. The electric three-row SUV is available in five available trim levels – Light Long Range RWD, Wind AWD, Land AWD, and GT-Line AWD. The latter is the range-topping model, which starts at $75,395 (with $1,495 destination and shipping included). It has a dual-motor electric powertrain with a peak output of 379 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The first examples delivered to the American market will be imported from South Korea but Kia has plans to begin local production of the EV SUV in West Point, Georgia, sometime in 2024.