Kia Australia is selling as many cars as it ever has Down Under, but ongoing supply constraints for key models has seen more customers dropping off as other brands see improved inventory.
Damien Meredith, CEO for Kia’s local division told CarExpert at the launch of the new EV9 that the company is seeing more customers cancelling orders, using the very in-demand Sportage SUV as an example.
“The percentage of those dropping off the list has increased, because some other manufacturers have been able to secure more stock than what we have in certain segments,” Mr Meredith said.
“Specific examples where people have been waiting for Sportage and then gone to Tucson. So, it has happened. [But] the majority are still holding on. If you take a six-month wait, we’re probably losing 20 per cent of that – this time last year, we were only losing 10 per cent of [those customers].”
“That has increased because stock has loosened up with some other manufacturers, and that’s just a fact of life that people have to make those decisions. We understand why that occurs”.
Mr Meredith added that Kia Australia should deliver “about 76,000 cars” for the 2023 calendar year, which is a little down on 2022’s all-time record of 78,330 units.
Mr Meredith said he expects the company to still be somewhat hamstrung by supply into next year, with 2025 to see things “open up” for Kia’s Australian arm. From 2025, which will see the release of the brand’s anticipated ‘TK’ dual-cab ute, Mr Meredith said “we’ll be [a] top two, top three manufacturer”.
In this year’s record new car market, Kia has dropped to fourth in the manufacturer standings as of October 30.
With 64,770 units registered to the end of month 10, Kia Australia is tracking ahead of parent Hyundai (63,578) but has fallen behind third-placed Ford (69,809). The brand is currently 2.7 per cent down on the same point in 2022.
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