Reports suggest Kia Motors is nearing the announcement of a new full-size SUV. The new product will be based on the Kia Telluride Concept the company debuted at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show and intended to help offset recent sales losses for the company.
Orth Hedrick, vice president-product planning, recently told WardsAuto the company will “have an announcement soon” regarding a 7-seat SUV offering. Hedrick’s comments follow recent reports that Kia Australia has also confirmed plans for a new SUV.
Of course, Kia is not providing details regarding the new model. It is expected to be similar in size to the Telluride Concept vehicle and shoehorn the Kia badge into the coveted large SUV/crossover segment. Current the Sorento is the largest SUV offered by Kia, which falls short of popular competitors such as the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and Chevrolet Traverse.
A production Telluride is expected to launch in 2019 as a 2020 model. Kia’s sister-brand Hyundai–also suffering from a lack of SUV options–is also expected to get a vehicle based on the Telluride.
Wards notes that light truck sales accounted for over 65 percent of vehicle sales in the U.S. last year. This statistic alone makes it clear why Kia is wanting to add another SUV to the portfolio.