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Kia Has A Tough Decision To Make About The Stinger

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Let's just say sales have not been stellar.

There was a lot of fanfare when the Kia Stinger arrived back in 2017. But despite continued praise since it launched, this has not translated into the sales expectations Kia initially hoped for. A total of 16,806 Stingers were sold in the US in 2018 and this year's total tally will surely drop because sales have been down every month so far compared to last year.

Through August, for example, US market Stinger sales are down by 19 percent compared to the same time last year. Don't blame the Kia Stinger itself, but rather a global slump in sedan sales in general. This begs the question: is the Stinger's future secure? Will there be a second-generation model?

2018-2019 Kia Stinger Front View Driving via Kia
2018-2019 Kia Stinger Left Side View via Kia
2018-2019 Kia Stinger Trunk Space via Kia

Australia's CarAdvice caught up with the automaker's vice president and senior chief designer for its German design studio, Gregory Guillaume, at Frankfurt earlier this month and asked him directly about the sport sedan's future. "At the moment I'm not sure it's doing as good as we hoped. We never really expected to do massive volumes. It was a halo car. We did want to be successful at least in America, the market where we thought there is a chance that it works," he explained. "We had very high expectations for that market and it's very difficult to start in such segments."

Given the aforementioned sales figures, America doesn't seem to be falling hard enough for the Stinger. But success can take time and patience. The question is: does Kia have enough of either to continue with its halo model?

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2018-2019 Kia Stinger Dashboard via Kia
2018-2019 Kia Stinger Infotainment System via Kia
2018-2019 Kia Stinger Cup Holder via Kia

Guillaume also made a good point when he reflected back at his time at Audi. "I remember… it took three generations of the A8 to be seen on eye level to a BMW 7 Series or Mercedes S-Class. You have to persevere. If you're entering these segments (whether) it's premium or image vehicles, you have to give yourself a bit of time."

For now, Guillaume could not provide an answer to whether Kia management will proceed with a second-gen Stinger. If the greenlight is received, however, he hinted at the following: "As you know there's a lot going on with electrification, so it could be that Stinger becomes something else."

2018-2019 Kia Stinger Engine via Kia
2018-2019 Kia Stinger Driver And Front Passenger Seats via Kia
2018-2019 Kia Stinger Second Row via Kia
2018-2019 Kia Stinger Rear Angle View via Kia
2018-2019 Kia Stinger Front Angle View via Kia

Gallery

2018-2019 Kia Stinger Engine
2018-2019 Kia Stinger Cup Holder
2018-2019 Kia Stinger Second Row
2018-2019 Kia Stinger Driver And Front Passenger Seats
2018-2019 Kia Stinger Trunk Space
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