Kia Australia ready to launch $100,000 EV6
Once known for cheap hatchbacks with drive-away deals, this brand is about to release a car that is more expensive than many luxury machines.
The brand is preparing to launch its upmarket EV6 electric car in Australia, a fully-loaded Tesla-fighter priced well above anything the brand has offered before.
Australian prices for the mode have not been announced. But we know it costs £40,945 to £51,945 ($76,250 to $97,000) without any optional extras in the UK.
The Kia shapes up as a more expensive proposition overseas than the Hyundai Ioniq 5 that starts from $71,500 plus on-roads in Australian showrooms.
Available with more than 500 kilometres of range and dual electric motors serving up 430kW of power – enough to reach 100km/h in a supercar-rivalling 3.5 seconds – the Kia EV6 will be the brand’s fastest model by some margin.
Dean Norbiato, general manager of marketing for Kia, said local interest in the EV6 was “absolutely unprecedented” for the brand.
“It has far outstripped anything before it in terms of levels of interest,” he said.
“The closest one was Stinger and this one has blown it out of the water.”
Mr Norbiato said the premium electric car was responsible for up to 70 per cent of traffic to Kia’s website and that analysis of the buyer profile suggests they are considering Kia for the first time.
“It’s an audience that we have never talked to,” he said.
“[The EV6] is doing a lot of heavy lifting getting new audiences to our brand.”
Damien Meredith, chief operating officer for Kia, said the EV6 continued an upmarket push for the brand.
Kia no longer advertises discounts or drive-away deals, and the brand’s marketing focuses on highly-specified GT-Line models with luxury features such as digital dashboards and leather seats that are both heated and cooled.
The latest Kia Sorento plug-in hybrid costs an eye-watering $81,990 drive-away.
Nevertheless, its biggest seller by a significant margin is the Kia Cerato hatch and sedan, which sells for as little as $25,490 drive-away, thousands of dollars less than the cheapest models of the top-selling Toyota Corolla and Mazda3.
An industry-first seven-year warranty introduced in 2014 has also helped Kia grow.
Mr Meredith said the unlimited-kilometre guarantee, which comes with capped-price servicing and roadside assistance, was a wonderful unique selling point.
“It gave potential customers permission to look at our brand,” he said.
“The reality is that it has certainly helped jump our sales quickly.
“[But] in percentage terms, a seven-year warranty can’t be the whole gamut from moving from 28,000 cars [sold] in 2014 to 61,000 cars in 2019.”