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Kia Stinger future back under a cloud, gone by 2023?

Stung: Reports out of Korea suggest the Kia Stinger may get an early retirement as the brand shifts its focus to electrified vehicles.

Korean press raises questions over Kia Stinger future, citing slow sales

22 Jul 2021

THE Kia Stinger will be dead by the end of 2022… at least that’s what reports out of Korea are claiming.


According to a story published last week byDaily Car, Kia has brought the Stinger’s retirement forward by two years in the wake of waning global sales with the Sohari production plant said to be changing tacks to focus on electrified vehicles.


Citing industry sources, the report says an electrified Carnival is the most likely candidate to inherit the Stinger’s production line with the final whistle rumoured to blow in the second half of next year.


Whether this proves to be the case or not remains to be seen, with Kia Australia not given anything away when quizzed on the topic by GoAuto. 


“The recently updated Stinger will continue to convey the fun-do-drive character of the Kia brand with more technology and power than ever before,” a spokesperson said in a statement.


“As a company policy, we do not share future production plans this far in advance. Further information will be disclosed in due course. 


“In the meantime, Kia will continue to offer products with the best safety, style and performance.”


This tight-lipped stance is somewhat at odds with the brand’s stance earlier in the year when executives from both the local arm and global headquarters seemed to solidify the Stinger’s chances of staying around until the end of its lifecycle in 2024.


Speaking to international media at the global debut of the EV6 in March, Kia president and CEO Ho Sung Song said the Stinger wouldn’t be leaving the local market any time soon.


“We will continue to provide a Stinger in the Australian market in next coming years,” he said at the time.


This sentiment was shared by local bosses at the Australian launch of the Niro where chief operations officer Damien Meredith went on record saying he’d like to see the Stinger “go onto a third generation”.


“It’s been a wonderful car for us; it’s helped us build our brand, it’s given us a performance edge and it’s been able to give us some road presence so it’s ticked the boxes in a lot of areas so we’d love to see it stay on for as long as possible,” he told GoAuto.


Kia Australia product planning general manager Roland Rivero built on Mr Meredith’s comments by revealing demand for the Stinger was actually increasing as the model aged with it even “exceeding supply”.


“You can’t ask for a better product to do that… we’re very happy with the Stinger and we’d love it to continue on,” he said.


According to the Daily Carreport, the final nail in the Stinger’s coffin has been the (Korean) success of its premium cousin, Genesis G70, with which it shares the same platform and running gear.


Genesis reportedly sold 7910 G70s in 2020 compared to the 3525 Stingers shifted by Kia, but that wasn’t the case Down Under with the Stinger comfortably outselling the G70 more than 15 times over (1778 vs 118).


That trend looks set to continue this year too with 967 new Stingers being delivered between January and June versus the 44 G70 sales notched up by Genesis.


It is worth noting however that a facelifted G70 was launched just last month.

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