Kia e-Niro nearly sold out; lead times set to increase
Kia Motors UK has almost sold out of its initial allocation of e-Niro electric SUVs. The brand's fleet and remarketing boss John Hargreaves confirmed to DrivingElectric that it was on course to have all the cars available to both fleet and retail sectors sold by the end of this week.
Only 900 examples of the e-Niro were earmarked for the UK market in 2019. First deliveries are due in April, however some buyers who have already placed orders but missed the first tranche of cars to arrive in the UK could have delivery dates towards the end of 2019.
Order books will remain open for the e-Niro, which won our inaugural 2019 DrivingElectric Car of the Year award. According to a Kia spokesperson: “we will still be taking orders from both fleet and retail customers, but we will have to be honest that delivery wouldn’t be until 2020.”
Battery supply for both Kia and Hyundai (as well as other electric-car manufacturers) has been a key issue, as demand for the Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric exceeds the UK allocation of cars, resulting in long lead times.
That issue is likely to remain “a restraining factor for at least another 12 to 18 months” according to a Kia spokesperson, despite the battery suppliers (Samsung and LG) doubling production output this year.
The good news for those who don't mind a wait is that Kia remains optimistic that, with battery production gradually ramping up, it “won’t have the supply problems we have now by the end of next year.”