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Kia Struggles to Meet Demand for 2021 Telluride

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When it announced production plans for the new Telluride, Kia set a target of 60,000 units built per year. At the moment, though, production capacity for the three-row SUV is at 100,000 units and is not enough to meet the market demand.

Simply put, buyers of the 2021 Kia Telluride will have to wait longer to get their hands on the SUV.

In the past few months, scrutiny was aimed at Kia for not offering financing deals to customers who may have been affected by the coronavirus health crisis. Along with the Telluride’s sibling, the Hyundai Palisade, it retained its market price and was notably excluded from discounts and other deals that other automakers were offering to customers.

Now, the decision to keep the price inflated appears to have been justified: Kia is unable to build Telluride SUVs fast enough so it’s trying to keep the demand low.

Units of 2020 Kia Telluride in dusty field
At the moment, though, production capacity for the Kia Telluride is at 100,000 units and is not enough to meet the market demand. | Source: Kia

According to a report by The Car Connection, there were only about 700 Telluride units available for purchase nationwide. This is a stark contrast to the 20,000 Ford Explorers and 12,000 Honda Pilots available at dealerships.

Kia appears to be aware of the situation. Its Director of Communications James Bell said, “This is the most (Kia) could turn out, and it can’t be built somewhere else.”

Bell was referring to the company’s announcement during Telluride’s launch in February last year that only 60,000 units will be built each year. The models that will be sold in the U.S. are built at the company’s lone production facility in the region, a facility in West Point, Georgia where other variants of the Kia Sorento and Optima are also being produced.

It didn’t help that the facility was forced to shut down for two months due to the pandemic and the ramp-up of production was slow even after it re-opened. Parts shortage also affected production, further making it difficult for Kia to build as many Telluride units as needed.

In The Car Connection’s report, there was a mention about the story of a couple who ordered the Telluride nine months prior and was told to wait for five to six months for delivery. When it came time for the supposed delivery, they were told to wait another five months.

Right now it’s virtually impossible to find a Telluride in a dealership, especially one without markup or is offered with discounts. Customers looking to get it or a Hyundai Palisade should prepare themselves for a year of waiting.

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