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Kia's Sets New Monthly EV Sales Record, But It's Not Enough To Turn Around Declining Sales Overall

April 2024 saw Kia’s best ever monthly sales total for electric vehicles (EVs) in the US, led by the EV6 and EV9 models. As exciting as that may be for fans of Kia’s EVs, the news was somewhat disappointing when we look at Kia’s overall US sales.

According to Kia, the EV9 had its best sales month yet in April. Note, it went on sale in the US in November of last year, which coincidentally was that last month in which Kia saw its monthly sales increase in the US. The EV9 sold a total of 1,572 units last month and the EV6 one upped it with a total of 2,051 sales. Kia’s only other EV currently on sale, the Kia Niro EV, likely sold between 1,100 - 1,300 units as well and I estimate that figure because Kia doesn’t release sales information for its Niro EV model separate from its hybrid models. I estimate the figure based on what else Kia tells us about April 2024 EV sales: “Kia America shattered its all-time monthly EV sales record, increasing 61-percent over the previous record set in April 2022 total”. In April 2022, Kia only sold two EVs in the US, the EV6 and Niro EV, and Kia sold 2,632 EV6s that month. Kia sold almost exactly the same number of Niro models in April 2022 that they did in April 2024, by the way (8 more total were sold in 2024, for a total of 3,031 units between all three Niro variants). Since Kia sold 581 more EV6s in April 2022, and the EV9 wasn’t on sale then, for the total 2024 EV9, EV6 and Niro EV sales to be 61% higher than only the 2022 EV6 sales, that would mean Kia must have sold a minimum of 615 Niro EVs (or a little over 20% of all Niros sold) in April of 2024. If that were the figure, it would likely be a down month for Niro EV sales and I expect the number is higher because of course Kia sold some number of Niro EVs in April 2022 as well. My best guess then is that Kia sold around 1,100 Niro EVs, on the low end, last month. That would mean they sold a total of 4,723 or more EVs last month and that Kia only managed to move around 500 Niro EVs in April 2022 (on the low end). Of course the actual figures are likely a little different, but I suspect if Kia had sold as many or more Niros as EV9s, we would have heard about that.

The real story behind Kia’s numbers doesn’t have much to do with the several hundred additional EVs they sold last month versus the same month last year or versus any other month for that matter. No, the bigger story here is that Kia’s overall sales decreased 4% (or 2,451 fewer units, year over year) in the US last month. Kia’s sales were led downward by the Rio (down 97% as it has been discontinued), the K5 (down 93% perhaps due to dwindling supply before a refreshed model year debuts), and the Soul (down 13%). Since the downturn for Kia seems to be primarily due to their most basic model being discontinued and perhaps model year changeover/supply as well, what we might expect is for sales to rebound the following month or two as new and refreshed models show up in greater numbers. However, Kia’s sales have been declining for 5 months in a row now. If the trend continues, and we also see a larger decline for May and June, it may signify that Kia really hasn’t “replaced” sales of its discontinued models with those of its next closest models or with electric alternatives and while another small decline would not be catastrophic for Kia, it certainly wouldn’t be encouraging either.

One final note is that in the Kia press release I linked to above, Kia America’s VP of Sales Operations said “the impressive sales momentum generated by Kia’s EV and electrified models in the first quarter continued to accelerate in April with best-ever EV and SUV performances,” (emphasis added). Though we don’t have any numbers to go with that statement, we can take it at face value and assume that Kia’s hybrid vehicles are seeing increasing sales too (the hybrid versions of the Sorento, the Sportage, and the Niro). That makes sense given the accolades that their PHEV models in particular have won recently. With Sorento, Sportage and Niro sales all trending upward last month and Kia’s SUV sales now accounting for a whopping 81% of their US sales, as long as Kia keeps hybridizing their SUVs and increasing volume while also introducing new fully electric vehicles, they should be able to get back on the positive sales track in the coming month(s).

Please leave any questions or comments below.

Images courtesy of Kia.


Justin Hart has owned and driven electric vehicles for over 15 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 Torque News Kia or X for regular electric and hybrid news coverage.


John Goreham    May 3, 2024 - 9:16AM

Great analysis, Justin. I'm a fan of the Kia brand and love their products. I was a bit disappointed to see the EVs selling at just 2K and 1.5K per month. If those models were gas-powered they would be canceled. Both have been out quite a while. The demand is obviously low for these vehicles. 

Justin Hart    May 16, 2024 - 3:06AM

In reply to by John Goreham

Agreed, that level of sales isn’t really sustainable, long term, but I also know Kia (and sister brands Hyundai and Genesis) are going full steam ahead on new manufacturing plants (part of their sales figures is due more to production/supply than demand). Of course Kia (in particular) needs to do more to reign in the greed of some of their dealers too (Kia is one of the most often cited brands whose dealers charge “market adjustments”), since that only hurts their sales figures too. Ultimately, I think more production can help bring their prices down (at least potentially) as well. With all the awards Kia is winning and recognition for their R&D, I suspect Kia, Hyundai and Genesis will generally see their EV sales increase, year over year.