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2024 Kia Sorento wait times revealed! Toyota Kluger and Hyundai Santa Fe seven-seat SUV rival has better supply this year, but Kia was hit hard by delays in 2023

The Kia Sorento facelift landed in Australia in January.

The era of waiting up to a year for a Kia Sorento GT-Line has come to a close, with the Korean carmaker confirming much better supply for its range in 2024.

Kia, along with virtually every other automotive brand, experienced significant delays to deliveries in recent years as a result of complications from the Covid-19 pandemic and global supply chain nightmares.

Supply of some higher-grade variants of key models like the Sorento and Sportage were hit hardest, with wait times stretching to 12 months. But the tide has turned in early 2024, coinciding with the arrival of the facelifted Sorento that landed in January.

Kia Australia Chief Operating Officer Dennis Piccoli confirmed expected wait times for the new Sorento at the launch of that model.

“It does depend on the variant and the dealer of course. But we think around three-to-four months is the expectation of where it is going to land, generally speaking, across all variants.”

Kia executives said that the split for the new Sorento would remain the same as the pre-facelift model, which is 80 per cent for the diesel grades, leaving the 3.5-litre V6 petrol and the hybrid and plug-in hybrid to make up the remaining 20 per cent.

Speaking of, the facelifted hybrid and PHEV Sorentos will land in quarter two.

Piccoli added that he is expecting to sell between 8000 and 9000 Sorentos in 2024, which is close to the 2023 tally of 8366 units - a six per cent increase over the 2022 result.

Kia Australia Chief Executive Officer Damien Meredith highlighted the impact of the supply issue, confirming that many buyers cancelled their orders after discovering how long the wait time would be.

“We've lost probably 20 per cent of retail. But the good news is that our order write has lifted quite dramatically. So over the last six weeks, December … in percentage terms it’s bounced right back to where we want our order write to be so we're pretty happy. But there’s been no doubt, like all manufacturers, we’ve lost about 20 per cent of our back orders.”

While that suggests Kia could have sold more vehicles in 2023 - 20 per cent extra would have pushed it close to 90,000 units - that could only have happened had Kia had sufficient supply, which it didn't.

When asked if he thought there would be a slowdown in new-vehicle sales generally in 2024, Meredith said that he expected a market of 1.1 million units for the full year 2024.

Despite concerns relating to interest rates and cost of living pressures, Meredith said there is a resilience to the Australian economy, adding that there will be “some changes to the mix of market share with regards to top 10 manufacturers”.

When asked to expand on that, Meredith highlighted the growth of Chinese brands in Australia as a catalyst for change in the year-end top 10.

“I think that we'll grow a little bit and I think there'll be some changes in the mix of the top 10 definitely because Chinese manufacturers will continue to grow - there’s no question about that,” he said.

“We've got to ensure that we get our share and grow that couple of thousand [sales] and maybe a couple of points in market share to maintain where we are. We were very, very happy with finishing fourth last year but that's historical data and we're firmly focused on what we need to do in 2024.”

Last year MG was the sole Chinese manufacturer in the top 10, landing in seventh place. However, in just the first month of 2024, GWM slid into ninth place with 3214 sales, just behind MG.

Electric vehicle specialist BYD has also signalled its intention to be a top five brand in the next few years.