By on February 27, 2014

kia-k900-la-auto-show-09

Kia’s first RWD V8 premium sedan for the United States is set to arrive next month, though less than 30 percent of all Kia dealerships will be ready to welcome the K900 when the first shipments arrive.

Edmunds reports the $60,000 sedan — aimed at the Lexus LS 400 and Mercedes S550 — will be sold by dealerships who signed up for the $30,000 training and display package designed around the K900, according to Kia spokesman Scott McKee:

The experience is designed to shift the culture, prepare authorized K900 dealers to welcome customers who may have never visited a Kia dealership and bring with them expectations set by other luxury brands. That cultural change will have a ripple effect through our network, elevating the experience for all Kia customers.

Kia executive vice president of sales and marketing Michael Sprague added that 220 of Kia’s 765 dealers in U.S. premium markets along the coasts and within the South and Chicago have signed up thus far, though he expects more will join the party once the first phase of the training and marketing push behind the K900 is successful.

As for what customers will see when the K900 arrives in those select showrooms, the premium sedan will have its own space, with dark wood inlays cut into the floor, displays highlighting various color and trim options, and a touchscreen device showing a video of the car’s interior.

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57 Comments on “Less Than Thirty Percent Of Kia Dealers To Sell 2015 K900...”


  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    There is a huge gap between this flagship-fighter and KIa’s next-nicest car, which is the Cadenza. So it’s understandable if Kia wants K900 customers to have their own unique experience. What *doesn’t* make sense is the fact that the package has to cost $30,000.

    I think this is an excellent vehicle, much nicer than the derivative Equus, and I hope that one of our local Kia dealerships will be selling it…

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The K900 is what it is, a full-size flagship.

      Kia has plans for a smaller RWD “sedan” based on the GT concept – which will probably slot in the $35-45k price range.

      Since the K900 is RWD only, the key markets will the South and West, along with the NE corridor.

      In hitting their target of around 5k in sales, that would mean each Kia dealership selling the K900 will have to do 22-23 a year or around 2 a month.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        That’s true. I live in one of the markets you’ve mentioned and I just happened to end up visiting a small Kia dealership today (’cause Grandma wants a Soul Exlcaim), and this dealership said that it would be selling the K900. I even caught a glimpse of the preliminary sales-preparation binders in the manager’s office.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          This car will be more rare on U.S. Roads than the last VW Phaeton, and driven mainly by dealership managers or their wives, and a select few senior citizens with dementia (who should have conservators).

          So it will have exclusivity in spades, and depreciation by the gross tonnage.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            That’s what many thought about the Equus and the Equus is doing a good bit better than what the Phaeton did in the US in sales.

            The K900 with a lower V6 trim should do a little better than the Equus.

  • avatar
    DeeDub

    It’s going to have a hard time competing on price against the LS400! :)

  • avatar
    mjz

    Like the Hyundai Genesis/Equus, Kia needs to market it’s upscale offerings under a separate brand, even if in the same showroom. Many people won’t even consider this car because of the Kia badge. Shame, it’s a nice car.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      This. +100.

      They decided to keep the K900 under the Kia brand…? I’m with you. Why they did that, I haven’t the slightest.

      This could prove to be one expensive experiment on Kia’s behalf.

    • 0 avatar
      JKC

      Allow me a contrarian view: this is indeed a gamble on Kia’s part, but I don’t think it’s as big a risk as some people think.

      Car buyers have gotten more savvy, in large part thanks to sites on the web like this. People are well aware that there is platform sharing in the automotive world, and I think there are buyers at every price point who look for value, even in a $60,000 car. I don’t think buyers willing to consider a “luxury Kia” are going to be fooled by a different nameplate. They will expect some coddling. If Kia can pull off a Lexus-type experience in their showrooms, then they’ve saved themselves the money needed to establish a new brand and a new dealership network.

      Look at Ford: sit in a Titanium model of anything Ford sells, and tell me why someone would pay the extra money to buy a Lincoln. What are you getting for that extra 5K? The people who are brand snots aren’t going to buy a Lincoln: they’re going to buy a BMW, Mercedes or (maybe) an Audi.

      • 0 avatar
        mjz

        This won’t be anymore successful than the VW Phaeton. You can make a luxury brand more downscale (Mercedes CLA), and people will flock to it. But a mainstream brand with a premium product is like a unicorn. A mythical oddity.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      While it’s tougher at the full-size, flagship segment (which will take time), Hyundai already has a leg up on the Japanese when it comes to the midsize RWD segment as the Genesis already outsells the Lexus GS and Infiniti M, and that’s even with an old model that’s about to be replaced.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        Genesis competes with the ES and it’s outsold and has a higher ATP than the Genesis. Sorry bout it.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Geeze, not this again.

          Few shoppers are going to cross-shop a soft FWD sedan with a hard-nosed RWD sedan, esp. one that is equipped with a V8 (which is not available on the ES).

          And since the Genesis sedan launched in the US in 2009, it has been GS sales that have suffered, with the new models not even coming close to the sales of its predecessor, whereas sales of the ES are as fine as ever.

          Also, the Canadian pricing for the new Genesis is going to start at $45k and go up to $62k for the top trim.

          The GS is priced at $47.7 and goes up to $55.5k for the AWD F-Sport.

          And despite that pricing, the Genesis sedan will still outsell the GS in Canada.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    This is one expensive… Kia.

    That quiet and refined interior, the 420 hp v8 engine (0-60 in mid 5 seconds is competitive for such a heavy beast), and all of the “more for less” theme played out in this RWD luxury sedan- all comes together, rather impressively, on a… Kia.

    Good luck with that. Nothing stands out about this car to make me run from my Mercedes to hit the Kia lot.

    I do find it in their best interests to make training and marketing a priority IF any dealers intend on offering the K900. Conversely, for Kia’s added benefit, any dealers who refuse to complete the program (and not pay the $30K program fee??) will NOT carry the K900, which could potentially add to the “exclusivity” (if that can even be said about any Kia) of this flagship model.

    I have a hankering for the Genesis R-Spec, this is my confession. Strangely, this crush I have on the R-Spec has not went away.

    But a K900 will not scratch my itch- or likely most others who devote theirselves to the Germans and most other high-end imports (Lexus).

    It’s got low budget written all over it. Tricky, albeit fairly well executed.

    Beneath that clever disguise- we’ve got a value-based car on our hands here. Still not certain if “value” and “luxury” go hand in hand yet. Only time will tell.

    Like McDonald’s “restaurants” offering premium coffee from their own in house baristas. No thanks.

    In addition, I like what they’ve done with the Optima. You can get a lot of car for not so much coin (if your into the whole value-based brand thing).

    But they just might have gotten in a little too deep with this one.

    I can already see these things 10 or so years from now at the buy here-pay here lots in the undesirable parts of town.

    • 0 avatar
      JKC

      Hate to bust yer bubble, raresleeper, but you can find plenty of older MB’s in those lots too.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      “I can already see these things 10 or so years from now at the buy here-pay here lots in the undesirable parts of town.”

      That’s where you are wrong. Credit challenged people have an unusually high need to buy luxury brand names, and aren’t going to be interested in a used Kia luxury car. These customers would rather get an even older “real” luxury car with the correct badge.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      10 years? I say 3-5.

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        What kind of depreciation rates are we looking at on this opulent Kia?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Good question. When K9000 first came up I checked Equus and it looked promising for us buy it cheap from the suckers crowd. According to AOL autos, MY11 Equus pricing was:

          Equus MSRP:$58,000 – $64,500

          and they claim KBB is:

          Blue Book® Private Party Value:$29,075 – $33,075

          If we turn to our auction porn we see MY11 Equus trading around the lower KBB mark with up to 43K miles, so much to my surprise KBB is somewhat accurate in this respect. Depending on what you believe Hyundai reliability was/is/will be, Equus is a three to four year old used car around 30K miles you can step into for the price of a new Titanium Fusion and hopefully keep for a time while only losing maybe 1/3rd purchase price in a three year period (say year six of the car’s life). I predict K9000 will follow this trend, just pay less than half MSRP in three years to get on board. Depreciation for both it and Equus will probably keep declining through year five to high teens or low twentys and then probably start to even out.

          01/29/14 DALLAS Regular $31,250 26,350 Avg SILVER 8G A Yes
          01/30/14 CINCINNA Regular $29,400 37,320 Below BLACK 8G A Yes
          02/04/14 HOUSTON Regular $31,700 25,117 Avg SILVER 8G A Yes
          02/04/14 GEORGIA Lease $33,600 33,416 Avg GREY 8G A Yes
          02/05/14 NJ Regular $34,500 26,938 Above GREY 8G P Yes
          02/05/14 DALLAS Lease $32,700 34,923 Avg WHITE 8G A Yes
          02/07/14 PA Lease $30,300 44,991 Avg SILVER 8G P Yes
          02/11/14 ORLANDO Lease $34,600 22,952 Above GRAY 8G A Yes
          02/14/14 FT LAUD Regular $29,400 51,181 Below BLK 8G A Yes
          02/18/14 ORLANDO Regular $33,800 33,413 Above PEARL 8G A Yes
          02/18/14 GEORGIA Regular $30,500 43,358 Avg SILVER 8G A Yes

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kia_K9

          http://autos.aol.com/hyundai-equus/

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            Lol

            Doesn’t it make you cringe at the thought of someone spending 60+ large for this car?

            Thank you kindly for your efforts here.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            raresleeper-

            It does. Same goes for my MKT. I was looking at the window sticker the other day, and MSRP was $59,750. AAAAAAAAAAA.

            Three years and 45-50K miles later:

            It was listed on the lot for $30,995 as a CPO vehicle. I threw out a price that was extremely low and they didn’t bit. I would look at the vehicle on their website and watch the price drop weekly. After a month of it sitting, I brought my wife out to test drive it too. They accepted my original offer of $23500. That is super depreciation. Its like losing $1000 a month!

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            @28 is the research king of the B&B!!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Thank you for your praise gentlemen, but in so far as “research” there are several scholars who routinely post truly fascinating information. I might take the “auction research” title though :)

            @raresleeper
            You’re welcome, it does make me cringe a little but then I remember Cadillac is asking 75K for an electric Cimmaron and you can option an S-class to 100K. I think what bothers me most is how difficult it is to get a NA V6 in a traditional bread and butter car. Sure we still have some choices but for how long?

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Not sure why I’d want to watch a video of the car’s interior when I would be standing next to the car.
    But then I’m not remotely interested in infotainment, so I’m probably not one to judge.
    Also, I’m sad to see no red wavy line under “infotainment” indicating I just made up a word, like I see when I type cromulent.

    • 0 avatar
      DeeDub

      You just need to embiggen your vocabulary. Infotainment is a perfectly cromulent word.

    • 0 avatar
      Waterview

      You nailed it. As I was reading I was thinking “if I’m standing in a dealership, why would I want to view a video of the car’s interior?”

      Perhaps I’m simply too old, but driving the real thing would still seem to be better than the virtual tour.

  • avatar
    pdieten

    Seems like these are going to end up like the Equus around here, as in challenging to move. There’s a Hyundai dealer here in town willing to make you a VERY good deal on leftover new ’13 Equus…..

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    Interesting

    Cadillac dealers have to pay $15K to sell the ELR and there is a 57% take rate by them (and the writer thought this was :astonishing”), Kia dealers have to pay $30K to sell this thing and there is only a 30% take rate by dealers. Of course there was not a big headline about how “Astonishing” this is…

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Despite it’s sharp, Jaguarian tailoring, I think the Canine Hundred is a bit of a dog.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    K9000000000000

    Additional: Would have made a splash announcing the car around the 50-55K mark as opposed to the 70K nobody will pay and marking it down 15-20 grand when it sells.

  • avatar
    Syke

    That just explained why the Kia dealer in Richmond just moved into the (formerly Infiniti) dealership on West Broad Street, next door to the Mercedes-Benz franchise north of the river, and two blocks east of BMW Richmond, and Crown Acura.

    And they’ve already got a good service attitude regarding the cheaper cars, as my girlfriend has already found out. Good enough that I’ll consider a Kia in my car shopping this summer.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Korean Jaguar (K900) or Korean Lexus (Genesis)?

    Can’t wait to see the data on whether a K900 is more reliable than a Jaguar made by Tata.

  • avatar
    mvlbr

    I don’t think that neither this nor Hyundai will succeed. Neither have brand cache even if the quality is there. Many people don’t even consider Infiniti and Acura in the same league as BMW, Mercedes or Lexus so how can this succeed.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      What is your definition of success? They are only planning on selling 5K of these cars a year. That doesn’t sound hard to me, based on how many Genesis and Equus Hyundai sell. It’s better looking than either of those, to my eyes. Seems enough cheaper than the big Germans to be at least worth a look.

      This car is NOT going to outsell the S-class in its first year, or ever, but I expect they will sell every one they bring over.

  • avatar
    mike1dog

    You’d have to sell a lot of these to make spending thirty grand to sell them worthwhile. Most Kia dealers I see are an adjunct to another, dare I say better Japanese brand. The local Kia dealer is owned by the same people who own the local Nissan dealer. It is a much smaller facility and I can’t imagine them spending thirty grand to sell a car that’s three to four times higher than any other car of that brand they sell. You could always transfer one from another dealer if a customer came into your dealership really wanting one.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I have never worked in the new car end of the industry so I don’t really understand it but I find it absurd the OEM can ding its dealers to sell one of their products.

  • avatar
    99_XC600

    Seems right to me considering the closest KIA dealer to me in West Springfield MA resides in a converted Burger King store.

    Nothing screams luxury, while inhaling the bygone aromas of Soggy Whoppers and Greasy Fries.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Phaeton, Mk II, but without the Audi engineering chops.

    US buyers want luxury brands. Full stop. Anytime a mainstream brand goes over approximately $40k in today’s dollars, it struggles. People in this country would rather buy something with less content but the right badge.

    And then there’s the question of whether it actually has good chassis tuning, which the first-generation Genesis and Equus did not. (Haven’t driven a K900 or second-gen Genesis but looking forward to it.) Suspension and steering are the riddle the Koreans have just not been able to solve so far.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      And yet, the Genesis sedan outsells the Lexus GS and Infiniti M.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        And yet, it’s $12K cheaper and doesn’t compete with those cars.

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          Except it totally does, so get over it Toyota fanboy.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Again, the LS460 is $22k cheaper than the V8 S Class and you aren’t going to claim that the LS460 doesn’t compete with the S Class are you (and the LS460 has the luxury badge and dealer network which Hyundai can’t charge for since they don’t offer it)?

          And that’s for the LS460; when the LS400 was launched for the ridiculously low price of $35k, it undercut a well-equipped E Class, much less the S Class of the time.

          Really, why do I need to rehash the same things over and over debunking your claims?

          Are you incapable of learning anything?

          And the pricing of the new Genesis in Canada is very close to the GS and actually tops the GS since the GS doesn’t offer a V8.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        It’s right around $40k. Reread my post and you will see that decent Genesis sales are perfectly consistent with it.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    First thing: K900 is a stupid name for a car, especially a luxury car. Alone it just sounds cheap, and even moreso when following the word Kia. All I can think of when I hear it is the Robocop 6000 SUX. At least Genesis and Equus sound sort of upscale.

    Second thing: Am I the only one who chuckles at the Matrix-inspired commercial for this car? That poor couple at the valet stand, thinking they are getting something special, pick the red key and instead of their Benz or Lexus, out drives a Kia with a stupid name. I’d be like “Yo Morpheus, give me back my blue key!!”

  • avatar
    Atum

    Cobb County Kia already has one.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    The Genesis (sedan) and the Equus are sleeper successes by being reasonably priced and understanded replicas of market benchmarks (Lexus). With the new Genesis looking like an elegant Audi clone with some mongrel 300 DNA thrown in, and the Equus making even the German faithful want to part with 60 large for a Korean knockoff, it was only a matter of time before KIA dealers wanted a piece of the action.

    So we get this asstarded, gaudy Jag knockoff that seems to have forgotten the lessons Hyundai painstaking learned with the Equus and Genesis by providing high-level understated luxury… At best this thing will take away sales from Hyundai’s luxury brand, at worst everyone will realize that Hyundai makes the same damn car, just much better looking…


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