Kia's 2021 U.S. Sales Lead The Way To A More Electrified 2022
According to Kia America, U.S. market combined battery electric and hybrid vehicle sales for 2021 saw a 97% increase, year over year. The Kia Niro’s combined model sales would account for the majority of that increase. Its 2021 sales increased by just over 50%, year over year. The rest of that increase must be from the Sorento HEV since it is the only other electrified 2021 model year Kia that was on sale in the U.S. last year. Doing a little fuzzy math and assuming I am not leaving other vehicles out accidentally, that means with the three Niro models combined 2021 sales of 26,192 that somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000 2021 Sorento HEVs were sold last year in the U.S. (unless the 2022 Sorento PHEV , which went on sale in Sep. 2021, was included). All up, at least 38,000 Kias sold in the U.S. last year had some form of electrification. If Kia has enough battery supply, strong demand seems to be there for the 2022 Sorento PHEV as the only non-luxury midsize 3 row PHEV on sale in the U.S., for now. With the HEV version also being the most fuel efficient 3 row SUV without a plug, Kia shouldn’t have much trouble selling as many of these two models as they can bring to market this year.
Kia has set a target of 3.15 million global sales for next year, which would be an increase of about 328,000 or more vehicles, or 13.4% growth, according to Automobilsport.com. Electrified vehicle sales growth will be a significant part that growth with the availability of new electrified models like the EV6, new PHEV and HEV versions of the Sportage (the Sportage was Kia’s best selling model, globally, for 2021), and the redesigned 2023 Niro, along with increased production of Kia’s existing electrified models. To achieve this sales increase, Kia along with its Hyundai partner, plan to stabilize semiconductor chip supply/demand and vehicle production schedules among other strategies in order to meet their growth targets, according to Reuters. They are likely better positioned to do this than other manufacturers given their relationship with South Korean semiconductor manufacturers.
Might Kia’s electrified sales (roughly) double again next year? If supply of semiconductors keeps improving, and battery and other component supply is what it needs to be, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about Kia (and Hyundai) significantly increasing their electrified vehicle sales in 2022, but doubling again isn’t their plan. I am also certain that their electrified sales will still be dominated by hybrids, as Kia doesn’t estimate reaching a BEV dominant balance of electrified vehicle sales until 2030, according to Inside EVs. Of course that will be true for a lot of manufacturer’s not named Tesla.
One other interesting statistic worth mentioning: in Q4 2021, according to Autonews.com, Kia had the lowest average transaction price of any manufacturer at $29,922. This means something in light of the fact that the expected average transaction price for a new vehicle in the U.S. is expected to be more than $45,000 once all the numbers are in for 2021. This is an increase of over $8,000 from this time a year ago (which was also a record then, too). If Kia’s vehicles, including their electrified ones, are significantly more affordable than other brands, and they keep getting the kind of recognition and awards they got in 2021, it certainly won’t hinder their efforts to meet their 2022 sales goals. You go, Kia!
Image provided by Kia Media.
Justin Hart has owned and driven electric vehicles for over 14 years, including a first generation Nissan LEAF, second generation Chevy Volt, Tesla Model 3, an electric bicycle and most recently a Kia Sorento PHEV. He is also an avid SUP rider, poet, photographer and wine lover. He enjoys taking long EV and PHEV road trips to beautiful and serene places with the people he loves. Follow Justin on Twitter for daily KIA EV news coverage.