Kia urges dealers to resist markups on the new three-row EV9 electric SUV

Kia is asking its dealers to avoid markups on the new EV9 electric SUV. The automaker says its first three-row electric SUV is garnering “significant consumer interest” as it’s expected to hit dealerships by the end of the year.

After opening orders for the EV9 last month, Kia America’s VP of sales, Eric Watson, said it has “already gathered significant consumer interest with pre-orders.”

Kia called the EV9’s $54,900 starting price “a wake-up call to the industry” as the automaker looks to capitalize on its biggest market.

Now, Kia is asking dealers to pass the savings on to customers. In a letter sent to dealers this week, Kia explained the importance of the EV9 to the brand.

According to online auto research firm CarsDirect, the letter read, “The EV9 customer is an important new owner to the Kia brand, and price transparency will be paramount as part of their purchase experience.”

Kia added, “We ask dealers to retail the EV9 without mark-up over the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price.”

Kia EV9 (Source: Kia)

Kia asks dealers to avoid EV9 markups

Can Kia dictate prices? After all, the dealer determines pricing based on supply and demand.

We’ve seen other highly anticipated electric models, like Chevy’s Blazer EV, marked up by as much as $10,000 at several dealerships.

Meanwhile, when Kia’s first dedicated electric car, the EV6, was introduced, reports suggested markups as high as $20,000.

2024 Kia EV6 (Source: Kia)

Fast-forward almost two years, and the market has shifted. Several new electric models have hit the market, creating new competition. Meanwhile, Tesla’s price cuts this year are forcing many automakers to follow suit.

Kia is introducing a new longer-range “Light” EV6 trim in 2024 that offers more range at a cheaper price point to keep up. The 2024 EV6 Light Long Range will have an MSRP of $45,950 with up to 310 miles range. Buyers can save $2,750 compared to the 2024 Wind model, starting at $48,700.

The brand’s EV6 did just set a new October sales record with 1,542 models sold, up 30% from last year. However, the three-row EV9 is expected to play a bigger role in the company’s EV transition.

Electrek’s Take

As the report notes, Kia’s attempt to prevent EV9 markups is a good effort, but there’s little the automaker can do.

Other legacy automakers like Ford and GM have dealt with their own struggles getting dealers on board with the transition to EVs.

Meanwhile, EV makers like Tesla and Rivian have the advantage of a direct-to-consumer sales model. Several automakers, including Volvo, are shifting to online sales models to streamline deliveries.