Is it possible to have too many new car sales? Kia Canada thinks so, at least according to a recent report from CBC News. Amid record sales for the automaker comes word that new vehicles ordered by Canadian customers are being withheld at staging locations in the country until 2024. The reason? Kia Canada doesn't want to look too successful in the eyes of the corporate office in South Korea.

The news stems from an alleged video call that occurred on November 17 between a Kia Canada regional manager and numerous dealership representatives. CBC News obtained footage of the call, in which the manager says, "With the global slowdown, Kia Canada wants to control wholesale and retail performance in 2023 to not show high overachievement."

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Per the report, lower yearly sales will help Kia Canada secure a better marketing budget from the global office for 2024, which is apparently the reasoning behind this strategy. The flip side is that customers who ordered a car are left waiting weeks or months. The decision reportedly happened in mid-November, meaning an extra six-week delay for some would-be buyers. All in the name of manipulating 2023 sales data.

The move could also take a financial toll on dealers and sales staff, many of whom are commission-based. Since customer orders and deposits don't equal sales, paychecks usually don't come until the documents are signed and the car is delivered. According to CBC News, there are more than a few dealers upset by this, understandably so. 

Kia has yet to issue a statement on the situation. We reached out to representatives of Kia Canada with several questions and a request for a statement, but haven't received a response. We also contacted several Kia Canada dealers, requesting to speak off-the-record about the sales policy. All declined to comment about the situation, some urgently turning us down. We contacted Kia's global public relations department which has yet to respond.

As for the United States, there's no indication that a similar policy is in effect. Still, we've reached out for a confirmation just to be sure. We'll be sure to update this article as more information becomes available.

How successful is Kia Canada these days? There are no official press releases on the company's Canadian media website regarding recent sales data. They do exist, however – an announcement from the automaker on November 29 stated Kia Canada set an all-time sales record with 79,199 units sold. That's annual sales, which is impressive considering it doesn't include anything from December.

It will certainly be interesting to see how the year-end statistics look. If this alleged withholding policy is being enforced, we'd expect December sales to be pretty slim for Kia Canada.

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