The Kia Sorento is reaping the benefits of improved supply, setting an all-time monthly sales record of 1063 units in November 2022 – though it’s a bit of giveth and taketh.
November’s monthly volume was a 315.2 per cent improvement on the same month in 2021, while the Sorento’s year to date figure of 6637 sales as of November 30 marks 37.2 per cent growth.
However, it’s not all good news. While supply of petrol and diesel models has improved to record sales levels, hybrid versions of the Sorento are in such short supply due to global demand, they’re now unavailable to order.
“At the current supply running rate, we’ve got enough backorders until 2024,” said Roland Rivero, general manager for product planning at Kia Australia.
CarExpert understands just 11 units out of the record 1063 Sorentos delivered in November were electrified versions, all of which were Sorento Hybrids (HEV).
Earlier this year, Kia’s local marketing boss Dean Norbiato told CarExpert local supply of the Sorento HEV would max out at about 20 units per month, which is double the Sorento Plug-in Hybrid’s monthly supply rate of 10 units per month at the time.
Last month Kia Australia’s chief operations officer Damien Meredith and general manager for product planning Roland Rivero, said the supply situation for hybrid models hasn’t improved since launch, calling it “tokenism at best”.
“Our back orders are building up,” said Mr Rivero, “there’s a lot of interest, and that’s why we can’t offer it on every variant because it’s just going to create a bigger problem. We’re getting a small stream of stock, tokenism at best.”
Mr Meredith added: “We’re getting few, very few. I think sometimes we forget we’re only 2.57 per cent of global output – we’ve got to be thankful for what we get.”
Taking the ever popular off-road-ready 4×4 nameplates out of the equation, the Kia Sorento is in the running for a podium finish in the unibody large SUV class.
Kia’s flagship SUV is neck and neck with the Mazda CX-9 (6302 units, up 6.3 per cent) and a little ahead of the Mazda CX-8 (5397 units, down 7.7 per cent), and leads its cousins in the Hyundai Santa Fe (4132 units, down 13.9 per cent) and Palisade (3756 units, up 15.2 per cent).
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