Kia’s new EV9 electric SUV outshines the EV6 in wholesale exports in September

Kia’s new EV9 electric SUV saw a massive leap in wholesale exports this past month. Kia doubled the number of EV9 vehicles sold from Korean plants for export, while EV6 shipments lagged.

After launching the EV6 as the brand’s first dedicated electric car, Kia had high hopes for the electric crossover SUV.

EV6 wholesale shipments fluttered last year, failing to gain meaningful traction globally. After reaching a peak in March, the trend continued this year, with only 601 models sold domestically and 3,706 exported in September.

Meanwhile, Kia introduced the EV9, its first seven-seat electric SUV, debuting in its home market on June 19.

Although the electric SUV got off to a strong start, sales slipped over the summer. According to Kia’s latest numbers, the flagship EV9 may be finding its rhythm.

Kia’s wholesale exports (domestic and overseas) show the automaker shipped a total of 6,015 EV9 models from Korean plants. That’s up 126% from August at 2,662 units.

Wholesale shipments
(exports + domestic)
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept
Kia EV9 7 9 11 1,337 1,281 2,662 6,015
Kia EV6 6,919 8,824 11,072 9,421 9,671 9,217 9,045 6,916 4,307
Kia EV9 and EV6 wholesale shipments YTD (source: Kia)

Kia EV9 wholesale exports pick up in September

From the looks of it, Kia is relying on its flagship electric SUV to carry sales until the next wave of EVs hits the market.

Orders for Kia’s three-row SUV opened last week in the US with starting prices under $55,000. The company expects the flagship EV to play a key role in its transition to EVs in the region as its largest EV yet.

Kia EV9 (Source: Kia)

In August, Kia introduced the EV5 compact SUV to compete with Tesla’s Model Y in China. The EV5 will start around $35,000 with 329 miles (530 km) of WLTC range standard. A longer range option (88kWh battery) will offer up to 447 miles (720 km) of range.

The South Korean automaker revealed plans for a wide-ranging EV lineup with existing models, including the EV6 and EV9, in addition to smaller, cheaper models like the EV4 and EV3.

Kia EV lineup from left to right: EV6, EV4, EV5, EV3, EV9 (Source: Kia)

Kia unveiled the EV3 and EV4 at EV Day with expected prices ranging from $35,000 to $50,000. The company aims to reach 1 million EV sales by 2026 as it works to hit 1.6 million per year by 2030.

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