Kia is struggling to keep up with demand for its more upmarket new seven-seat Sorento.
Multiple dealers report wait times for the Kia Sorento family SUV stretch to four months on the back of strong demand and slower-than-usual supply caused by COVID-19.
Dealers across Melbourne and Sydney reported wait times of between three and five months for the seven-seat SUV when contacted by CarExpert.
“There are varying delays across the Kia range. Sorento diesel in particular is in high demand globally and combined with COVID related supply chain pressures, the wait time is around four months,” a Kia spokesperson told CarExpert.
All the dealers we spoke to said Kia is working hard to get customers their cars sooner, and people awaiting their vehicles are being offered similar (or identical) cars from cancelled and unfulfilled orders to help speed the process up.
The GT-Line is worst affected by the delays, but buyers of even lower-end models are facing a wait for their cars.
“Sorento is on a three to four month [delay] depending on what variant you order, but we’re working on an hourly basis trying to get more cars to Australia to satisfy that,” Kia Australia chief operating officer, Damien Meredith, told media at the Stonic launch.
“The global supply chains have changed dramatically over the last 18 months because of COVID… we’ve got to continually work with Korea to get more cars into Australia at this point in time.”
Sales of the Sorento remain strong despite the stock struggles. With 4547 sold in 2020, the Sorento owns a 5.0 per cent share of its market, and is nipping at the heels of the related Hyundai Santa Fe in the sales race.
Those figures will likely be boosted when the petrol model touches down. The Sorento launched with diesel power only, but Kia Australia recently confirmed the petrol is starting to arrive in showrooms.
Kia is preparing to bolster the Sorento range with both hybrid and plug-in hybrid models.
The company has confirmed it’s planning to launch the seven-seat Sorento Plug-in Hybrid during the second quarter of this year, at which point it’ll join the hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric Niro range.
The Toyota Kluger-rivalling Sorento Hybrid will arrive “later in the year”, with more specific launch dates to come closer to launch.
Once both variants arrive in Australian showrooms, the Kia Sorento will be the only vehicle in Australia to offer petrol, diesel, hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrain options.