The Kia Soul has been a consistently good performer for the Koreans, but their all-electric Soul EV is off to a bit of a sluggish sales start.
The EV was first made available in the US last October, where it sold 109 units in the first month. The following month saw sales go up to 140 units.
While the sales dropped off a little in December, the 359 units sold during the first three months of release were really not too shabby.
When 2015 rolled around, the automotive media started singing the praises of the new Soul EV, with many going as far as to say that it is the best electric vehicle on the market (next to Tesla S).
Almost every element of the vehicle was compared to the others out there, and it was the Soul EV that came out on top every time.
The general feeling was that these great reviews would lead to a big leap in sales on 2015, but it hasn’t turned out that way.
Soul EV sales till the end of September 2015
(Note: this Soul EV sales blog post has been updated! A sales table has been added!)
The start of 2015 proved to be a bit of a rough one, as the Soul EV experienced 4 straight months of sales under 100 units.
The vehicle finally broke through that barrier in May and June when 108 and 109 units were sold.
After sales improvement in June we hoped the all electric Soul would continue to trend higher, however that was not the case with only 59 being sold in July.
To this point in the year, the Soul EV has moved727 units, breaking last year’s sales total, albeit with 2 extra months to hit that number.
Reason 1: Kia Soul EV availability
The Soul EV was only initially made available in 5 states – California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey and Maryland – where the infrastructure supported electric vehicles.
Knowing this makes the lack of sales a whole lot more understandable.
The results in California have been particularly good, and Kia has made it known that the demand for the vehicle was so high in other parts of the country that they have decided to make the Soul EV available in 5 new US states.
Georgia is the first to take delivery, followed by Washington, Hawaii, and Texas. The increased availability should mean that sales will start to climb as the year progresses.
Reason 2: low production volumes
The lack of availability was not the only reason for the slow start, though, as low volume production also played a role.
It appears that Kia never intended the Soul EV to be a huge seller, which is why global production was limited to about 5,000 – 10,000 units.
As various sources state, Kia is now slowly but surely increasing their production levels to meet that demand.
How to improve sales?
Kia still has a ways to go if it is to match the numbers posted by Nissan and Tesla with their electric cars, but they are certainly taking the necessary steps to become a major player in the EV market.
What other steps do you guys think they should take to speed up the process?