The new-car delivery delays caused by various factors has become more than just frustrating for Kia, so much so that the brand was almost forced to bin plans to launch its flagship plug-in hybrid Sorento this year.
Kia has been one of the hardest hit by the delays, with COVID-related production and shipping hiccups compounded by the shortage of semi-conductors (chips) that control everything from the sat-nav to the autonomous emergency braking system.
Some customers who paid in December were told to brace for a six-month wait and even longer for mainly top-end variants that require more chips. Cars need anywhere from 50 to 300 chips, while EVs can require up to 3500.
But the situation at Kia is improving, depending on what you want, the company told CarsGuide.
The latest is that the new model Cerato, which has just been launched, has good availability. There may also be some examples of the run-out model available.
The Sportage is also in run-out and getting the one you want may be difficult. As always, check with your dealer and if you need the car quick, and be prepared to compromise on trim options, colour and grade.
Kia Australia’s spokesperson Alyson MacDonald said the baby Picanto — which dominates the micro-car segment in Australia — has been hit with an extra delay of up to two months, pushing out delivery to around four months.
And the high-end versions of some other models are particularly hard to source in a hurry.
Ms MacDonald said the GT and the GT-Line versions of the Rio, Stonic, Seltos and Stinger are about three months away from delivery, while the Sorento GT-Line is clearly popular with a six month wait.
Kia earlier this year was in the unusual position of seeing some new-car buyers switch to getting a used model, with the result that the used-car price of some Kias rocketed by $5000 higher than the new-car price. Other brands, notably Suzuki with its Jimny, found themselves in the same boat.
Last month, Kia said that it would offer refunds to customers frustrated with the delays in new-car delivery times.
Ms MacDonald said: “We are providing customers the opportunity to cancel their order and receive a full deposit refund if the wait time exceeds their required time frame for a vehicle.”