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Predicting a vehicle’s popularity with consumers is difficult. What may be desirable to one group might put others off. The Kia EV6, for example, started strong as the new model debuted in late 2021 for the 2022 model year, but now lagging sales have everyone at Kia wondering why the EV is struggling.

Kia EV6 year-to-date sales are down compared to last year

Analyzing sales provided by Good Car Bad Car shows that Kia sold 7,876 EV6 models from January through the end of May 2022. Compared to the 6,870 EV6s sold during the same period in 2023, sales are down 12.77%, with 1,006 fewer units delivered to consumers. 

However, the news isn’t all bad for the Kia EV6. Comparing the month of May 2023 to last May shows a 7.14% increase in sales. May 2022 saw 2,088 EV6 sales compared to May 2023’s 2,237, an increase of 149 vehicles or 4.8 per day. 

Is the Kia EV6 honeymoon over?

The 2022 Kia EV6 received rave reviews from automotive critics in its first year. MotorTrend called it “an excellent electric almost-SUV” and said the EV6 was an example of Kia’s bright electric future. However, according to InsideEVs, the EV6 received little consumer interest past its initial introduction. If there was a honeymoon phase, it was short-lived.

Why are sales lagging for the 2023 Kia EV6?

Battery-powered electric vehicle (BEV) sales are down for some popular models due to many factors, such as:

  • Economic instability
  • Range anxiety
  • Reduced tax credits
  • Long wait times for delivery

Economic instability 

While Good Car Bad Car’s data shows an overall year-over-year increase in vehicle sales, most models enjoying increased demand are well established. Market influences such as inflation, stock market volatility, and an evolving job market lead more people to avoid risks like buying into the EV lifestyle, especially regarding a brand-new model.

Range anxiety

Along with financial risk aversion, many people still have range anxiety. One potential factor for lagging electric vehicle sales is that those people with higher range anxiety tolerance have already purchased a BEV in the last couple of years. Most EV buyers won’t buy a new one every year.

Reduced tax credits

CNET says new requirements for the $7,500 U.S. EV tax credit took effect in April 2023. The 2023 Kia EV6 no longer qualifies for the federal tax credit when purchased by an individual, but a loophole allows Kia to offer the $7,500 savings as a “Lease Bonus.”

Long wait times for delivery

Electrifying reports that the estimated wait time for delivery of a new Kia EV6 as of April 27, 2023, was six to eight months. While the EV competition – the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Ford Mustang Mach E in particular – struggle with similar wait times, other new cars sit on dealer lots ready for delivery or have a faster turnaround time.

Is the Kia EV6 doomed for failure?

Don’t expect Kia to pull the plug on the EV6 nameplate anytime soon. However, like many vehicle nameplates, something is bound to change sooner or later. For example, Kia revealed its EV9 concept vehicle at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show as an example of its commitment to the EV future. 

So, while 2023 Kia EV6 sales might be falling below expectations, there is time for it to recover as supply chain, economic, and tax incentive issues work themselves out. 

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