Kia Dealerships Face Challenges Getting Inventory
You may have noticed that there are fewer new Kia vehicles available for sale these days. Where did they go? The answer is a mix of supply chain shortages, pandemic shutdowns, and high customer demand. Some vehicles, like the Kia Telluride, have been especially difficult to find in recent years.
Fortunately, the future is looking up. Kia is facing these challenges with several different strategies, and we expect to see more Kia vehicles available soon. In the meantime, Lawrence Kia hasn’t yet sold out of all our new vehicles, so take a look at our inventory before someone else snatches your dream car away!
The Pandemic Shut Down Auto Factories
The covid pandemic made it hard to keep factories open and maintain enough workers. Many auto factories and dealerships shut down in the early days of the pandemic to avoid spreading COVID-19. Even when factories were still functioning, many of the workers had to take time off to recover from illness or care for family members who were sick or out of school. Naturally, this delayed production, delivery, and sales. As businesses started to open again, dealerships gave customers some amazing incentives to resume buying Kia vehicles again. Enthusiastic customers snapped up the bargains – reducing inventory faster than it could be replenished. This left very few new vehicles on the lot. It’s been tough for dealerships to meet demand ever since, and that still wasn’t the worst of the delays.
Shortages in Semiconductor Chips and Magnesium
Just as business was starting to bounce back, auto manufacturers began to experience problems with sourcing electronic parts for new vehicles. Semiconductors and computer chips are needed for modern vehicles to fully function. These computer chips help control safety and convenience features. Because of the semiconductor shortage, manufacturers skipped some model years altogether for some specific models. Other vehicles sat unfinished in the factories, waiting for the semiconductor chips to be delivered for the final critical components.
Kia was forced to stop vehicle production several times in 2021 because of the chip shortages. However, careful planning allowed them to resume production and deliver 2022 vehicles to their dealerships.
Another challenge struck the auto industry when China began to run short on magnesium. China is the world’s largest supplier of magnesium, providing 90% of the magnesium used in industry. Magnesium is combined with aluminum to make a strong alloy for vehicle frames, so manufacturers were concerned about being able to build the vehicle chassis and frames. The combined shortages of aluminum alloys and computer chips struck a hard blow to manufacturers and influenced decisions to delay production in some models.
Kia Finds Solutions to Challenges
Even with the chip shortage, Kia sales are on the rise. A factory in Georgia helps provide vehicles to American customers, which makes for faster shipping times. A bill to increase domestic computer chip production was approved in Congress, so as American factories begin making chips, they can be quickly delivered to the Georgia factory to be installed in new Kia vehicles that are waiting for those final finishing touches.
As the pandemic slowed its course and Kia factories started functioning again, factory managers had to prepare to be more flexible. Rather than planning the production schedule months in advance, it was modified weekly, and sometimes even daily, to make the most of available parts. It was a huge adjustment, but with a lot of communication, the factories are running smoothly again.
What’s Ahead for Kia in 2022 and Beyond?
Kia has already started production for many of its 2023 vehicles. The 2023 Soul, Sportage, Seltos, Telluride, and Carnival are all in production, and should be available for sale soon. More models are expected to be on their way later in the year.
Kia recently unveiled its new EV6 electric vehicle, which will be available in the 2023 model year. Demand for electric vehicles is expected to increase in the coming years, and these cars may start being produced in U.S. factories soon.
The pandemic years have certainly been challenging, but Kia fans can look forward to having plenty of models to choose from soon. This is also a great time to trade in a previously owned car for a new model, as demand for used cars is high, as well. There are exciting things on the road ahead!
Posted in: 2023 Kia Models
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