Kia sought to play with the big boys from Germany (and Lexus) by trying to beat them at their own game. It cooked up what must have seemed like a brilliant plan in the company’s boardrooms: a luxury sedan that costs just $60,000 and goes up against the likes of the Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8. Why wouldn’t anyone not want to own such a car for an obvious steal of a price?
The only thing Kia didn’t take into account was that maybe, just maybe, people who purchase a car like the S-Class aren’t really that price sensitive. After all, the S-Class isn’t exactly a budget-conscious vehicle, yet it doesn’t struggle to find sales. Just 1,050 car shoppers so far have purchased the Kia K900, which is a number that for all intents and purposes indicates the car so far is a big sales flop.
Why didn’t people who were looking for a smaller luxury sedan opt for the larger K900? According to Kyle Stock of Businessweek, one of the factors that has been working against the Kia is the lack of prestige from driving one. The South Korean company forgot to factor in the one really big reason why so many people will spend sick amounts of cash on a BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, or Audi: prestige. Nobody at the country club or office will be impressed when you pull up in a big luxury sedan that has the Kia badge on it.
The other reason Stock cited for why the K900 hasn’t been moving is that many car reviewers are saying it is a bore to drive. Sure, the car is loaded with plenty of luxury, but if a person takes it for a test drive, they’re immediately going to sense that it will be a burden to get behind the wheel day in and day out.
If you do happen to be one of the few people who are interested in the Kia K900, you’re in luck. Right now the automaker is offering big incentives as a way to lure consumers in and help unload stock.