Kia has set the launch of its all-electric EV6 in India for later this year. Bookings for the Kia EV6 will commence on May 26, followed by the price announcement and launch in August.
- Kia EV6 to be offered in top-spec AWD guise in India
- Huge global demand and microchip shortage curtails supply to India
- Price announcement and launch expected by August 2022
The EV6 is Kia’s first dedicated EV built on the same E-GMP platform as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, and both these cars, which come with the latest EV tech and an 800V architecture, have taken the market by storm to become an instant hit globally. Kia is struggling to keep up with the demand for the EV6, a situation made more difficult by the chronic semiconductor shortage that continues to roil the industry and impact production.
Kia EV6 in India: only 100 units for 2022
Due to production constraints, Kia has been forced to juggle supply of the EV6 around the world; and like many other global automakers also facing production challenges, it has prioritised the more profitable markets over low margin markets like India. As a result, Kia has limited the first batch of India-bound EV6s to just 100 units for 2022. With the launch in August, this initial lot of EV6s may just about be sufficient till the end of the year, especially since the car won’t be sold pan-India, but only through a single dealer in each of the five metro cities.
However, dealers expect demand for the EV6, which will come with a launch price of Rs 55 lakh-60 lakh, to be far more than the limited numbers they receive. “The EV6 has won rave reviews globally which customers are well aware of. Besides, it will enter a white space as there is no other EV in the Rs 55 lakh-60 lakh bracket,” said a Kia dealer.
The EV6’s main rival, the Ioniq 5, will come two months after the EV6. Again, Hyundai India has been unable to get sufficient allocation of the Ioniq 5, which is understood to have delayed its India launch.
Speaking to Autocar India, Tae-Jin Park, managing director and CEO, Kia India, said, “We have right now got an allocation of only 100 EV6s for 2022. I am pushing the head office to give us more, but it is difficult because of the very high global demand.” In March 2022, Kia reported a record high of global monthly wholesales of the 7,667 EV6s, a figure that could have been significantly higher if not for the parts supply crunch.
Kia EV6: More profitable markets prioritised over India amid supply shortage
The limited allocation of EV6s for the Indian market highlights the trend where global carmakers divert the severely constrained supply of cars to markets where they can make the most money to maximise profits. India has typically been a low profit margin market when it comes to fully imported vehicles. The exorbitant taxation structure for Completely Built Up (CBU) units mean that automakers have to operate with much thinner margins to guard against pricing their cars too high for the cost-sensitive Indian market.
Though the EV6 is not meant to bring volumes, it’s an important model for Kia as a brand builder and to set the ball rolling for electrification in India.
While the EV6 is available in multiple configurations and battery sizes abroad, since volumes are limited for India, the plan is to first launch the top-spec model, which gets a dual motor, all-wheel drive set-up and produces 325hp. It comes with the larger 77.4kWh battery pack to give a claimed maximum driving range of 510km. Kia is expected to expand the EV6 range in India with smaller battery packs and single-motor, RWD set-ups later in 2023 once supply constraints ease.