Kia America has announced it should locally assemble the brand new EV9 electric SUV at its West Point facility in Georgia, USA – which could mean higher supply for Australia throughout 2024.
With sales “expected” to begin in North America through the fourth quarter of this yr, Kia’s US division has confirmed local production of the EV9 will start in some unspecified time in the future in 2024, making it the primary of the brand’s electric vehicles to be produced within the USA.
The Korean brand’s Georgia factory already produces versions of the K5 sedan, Sportage and Sorento SUVs, in addition to the full-size Telluride SUV.
Nonetheless, hybrid (HEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variants of the K5, Sportage and Sorento proceed to be sourced from South Korea – a part of the rationale supply of the electrified Sorento is so tight for us.
While Kia will produce the EV9 within the US, markets like Australia and Europe will source their vehicles from Korea.
Because of this supply for the Australian market could improve from the present projection of 100 units per thirty days following an initial allocation of 400 units at the top of 2023, given the EV9 may be very clearly a product focused on the North American market.
While Kia Australia declined to officially comment on the prospects of improved supply for the EV9, it wouldn’t be the primary time that shifts in the corporate’s production have resulted in higher access to its vehicles Down Under.
The combustion-powered Kia Sportage, for instance, saw supply open up once North America confirmed local production for petrol-powered versions, freeing up production slots for our market, though that has since modified again amidst component shortages.
The Sportage Hybrid, meanwhile, continues to be sourced from the identical factory in South Korea that we get ours from, hence why Aussie access to the HEV has been so delayed – it’s finally due early in 2024.
We’ve recently seen supply of the all-electric EV6 crossover also improve for the Australian market, likely resulting from initial launch demand from high-priority markets like Europe and North America beginning to subside, as our vehicles come from the identical factory that exports to the world.
Despite Australia playing second fiddle to those aforementioned regions, it didn’t stop Kia Australia from setting quite a few sales records in 2022 despite ongoing supply challenges, and ending third overall for the calendar yr.
The Korean brand leapfrogged parent Hyundai within the manufacturer standings with 78,330 deliveries throughout 2022, posting yearly growth of 15.3 per cent. It was the brand’s best ever lead to this country up to now.
Two of Kia’s model lines made the Top 20 nameplates for the yr, including the Sportage (twelfth, 18,792 units) and Cerato (nineteenth, 12,354 units); while the Picanto, Stinger and Carnival were all of the leaders of their respective segments. The little Kia Stonic also finished second within the burgeoning Light SUV class with 8557 registrations for the yr.
The EV9 is simply prone to add incremental volume, given its low monthly volume forecast and the actual fact it’s projected to start out inside a stone’s throw of $100,000.
Increasing demand for electric vehicles in Australia plus the EV9’s three-row interior layout makes it something of a unicorn – the one other seven-seat EV on sale here currently is the Mercedes-Benz EQB which plays in the identical $90,000-$100,000 price bracket.
Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the most recent within the lead-up to the Kia EV9’s local arrival around October.
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This Article First Appeared At www.carexpert.com.au