Kia has requested its dealers to refrain from adding markups on its highly anticipated EV9 (pictured above). The company is emphasizing the importance of transparent pricing to provide a positive buying experience for EV9 customers.

Kia sent a letter to its salespeople on October 31. The letter urges dealers to sell the vehicle without any markup above the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP).

Although the letter is a great PR move, it’s unlikely to have much practical effect. Drive Tesla Canada notes that Kia’s dealers have the freedom to set their own prices.

In contrast, dedicated EV manufacturers like Tesla and Rivian have chosen to bypass the dealership model and directly engage with consumers. This way, customers can avoid having to pay traditional markups.

Many North American car dealers have marked up EVs by tens of thousands of dollars in recent years, including Kia dealers. In early 2022, a Kia dealer in Cerritos, California, marked up an EV6 by $25,000.

As Kia tells salespeople not to mark up the EV9, the company is lagging in a distant second place in the US EV market. In the first half of 2023, Tesla sold almost nine times more EVs than Kia. (The Kia sales figures included Hyundai sales. Hyundai is Kia’s parent company.)

Kia recently announced the official pricing for the EV9 in the US. The vehicle comes in five trims. Prices vary from $54,900 for the base trim to $73,900 for the highest trim level, known as the GT-Line e-AWD.

The EV9’s driving range will vary from 223 miles (359 km) for the base trim to 300 miles (483 km) for the Long Range trim.

Kia is positioning the EV9 as a challenger to other three-row electric SUVs, especially the Tesla Model X, the Rivian R1S, and the Mercedes-Benz EQB.  The EV9 is particularly well-suited for families.

Image Source: SocZoc,