Kia Australia has been forced to put a stop-sale of its top-spec Sportage GT-Line SUV as a result of ongoing component shortages.
Local product planning boss Roland Rivero told CarExpert the brand has paused orders of the flagship variants given the current supply issue and a growing bank of orders.
“Sportage GT-Line production is limited [currently] due to component shortages,” said Mr Rivero.
“We have a large number of backorders accumulating – enough to cover 12 months’ worth of demand – and as a result we have stopped taking orders until production returns to some form of normality.”
This news comes after we reported Kia’s supply issues with the Sportage GT-Line a couple of months ago, with the company citing similar reasons.
Back in February, Mr Rivero noted that the GT-Line’s chip-heavy spec sheet meant it’s most susceptible to supply shortages.
“The fact is, Kia Australia and our dealers are struggling to keep up with Sportage demand, with various components suffering from supply shortages,” Mr Rivero said in February.
“Naturally, the top-of-the-range variants with the most microchips are the most affected.
“The supply mix coming through is not ideal, in favour of the lower trim variants. Customers are urged to sit tight, while we negotiate for more stock.”
It’s understood the Sportage GT-Line variants – both 1.6T AWD petrol and 2.0D AWD diesel versions are offered – account for nearly a third of all Sportage orders in Australia.
So far in 2023 to April 30, the Sportage has returned 4207 registrations, down 20.1 per cent on a very strong 2022 result. April 2023’s monthly figure of 859 units was likewise down, by 35.3 per cent compared to April 2022.
Despite ongoing supply challenges, the Sportage is still ranking ahead of segment stalwarts year to date (YTD), such as the Nissan X-Trail (3648 units), Honda CR-V (3616 units) and Volkswagen Tiguan (2233 units).
The Sportage’s twin under the skin, the Hyundai Tucson (6171 units YTD) is pulling ahead even while Kia has overtaken Hyundai in the brand sales rankings.
MORE: Everything Kia Sportage