The Success of the Telluride Has Meant Hurt Sales for Another Kia SUV

It’s no secret the 2020 Kia Telluride has taken the SUV market by storm. What began as a concept car in 2016 has since debuted in 2019 as a 2020 model. And since its introduction, the Telluride has far exceeded Kia’s expectations. Named after the popular town in Colorado, the Telluride has already earned the title of 2020 World Car of the Year. But is the Kia Telluride’s success coming at a cost? As the Korean automaker rolled out sales numbers for last quarter and the year so far, it appears the Telluride may be siphoning sales off another Kia SUV.

Kia announces its sales numbers for the Telluride and more

On October 1, Kia Motors America officially announced proudly that September may have been the best sales month yet. Over 55,500 vehicles sold, also marking a high for the third quarter. Leading the charge and selling the most is Kia’s pride and joy SUV.

The Telluride put up sales numbers over 8,800 units while the Sportage sold 7,165 units. Other benchmark performances in the press release include a monthly sales record of the Kia Seltos with 5,613 units sold as well as the new K5 midsize sedan selling 5,763 models.

Which Kia model didn’t put up the big numbers?

Bill Peffer, the vice president of sales and operations for Kia Motors America, spoke enthusiastically about just how “robust” the Kia roster of vehicles really is. He also mentioned high-expectations for the all-new 2021 Kia Sorento SUV. It’s evident, though, the Kia Sorento didn’t make the top-selling list as the Telluride did. Could it be the wildly popular Telluride is cutting into the Sorento’s sales?

Annual year-to-date sales may tell a different story

As Kia shared its sales numbers for the year, of course, the Telluride and Sportage take center stage for success in recent months. But it also demonstrates just how successful some of the other models have been this year, some even posting higher units sold than even the Telluride year-to-date. The total sales figures may tell a different story about which Kia models are more successful.

The Kia Sportage, so far, has sold 62,400 units, and the Telluride is actually behind the Sorento, with 46,615 units to the Sorento’s 60,492 units sold. At first glance, it might suggest the Sorento is more popular and selling better. But remember, the Kia Telluride hasn’t been around as long as some of the other Kia SUVs. And while its numbers are about 15,000 units sold shy of the Sorento, the Telluride is proving to have some incredible sales momentum.

The Kia Telluride could be competing against its siblings


How New Is the Kia Telluride?

Comparing this year’s sales progress with 2019 numbers, there is another glaring trend. The Kia Sorento may have more units sold this year than the Kia Telluride, but it has drastically dropped since last year. In 2019, the Kia Sorento sold 72,200 units for the year and 7,766 models in the month of September alone. This year, it’s holding just above 60,000 total models sold and 6,879 units for September, according to Car Sales Base. Those differentials are remarkably close to the numbers posted for the Telluride. It could be that Kia’s popular SUVs are ultimately competing against themselves.

There’s no question that Kia Motors America is having a great year despite pandemic conditions and retail shuttering in the first and second quarters. It’s primed to continue its rebound, with the Kia Telluride leading the way. But looking beyond the numbers, it could be that this game-changing SUV is winning over former Sorento buyers. If you’ve had your eye on either model, you may want to take a test drive for yourself and see which Kia SUV wins you over.