Please, Kia. Not the Stinger.
Last week we reported on the Hyundai Sonata's untimely demise due to a lack of interest in the US and the South Korean manufacturer shutting down the sedan's assembly lines to build the Ioniq 6.
The Sonata is not the only victim of the sudden South Korean culling, as the Kia K5 and Stinger are also facing the chopping block. There seems to be an all-out war on traditional sedans, started by Ford a few years ago.
We know the Sonata has at least one facelift left before going to the great scrapheap in the sky, which means it should last for at least another four to five years. The Kia K5 is based on the same platform as the Sonata introduced locally a year ago. At the time, Kia was confident the K5 was good enough to lure people out of crossovers.
The strategy essentially failed, as Kia managed to sell 77,195 K5s in the US in 2021. During that same period, Kia sold 93,705 Tellurides and 88,688 units of the outgoing Sportage. The 2023 Sportage was unveiled in October 2021, and even that did little to dissuade customers from going the SUV route.
Kia's K5 is still essentially brand-new, so the South Korean manufacturer will likely keep building it at its local factory in West Point, Georgia. While its figures are lower than expected, it still turns a nice profit for the brand and will likely serve as a nice placeholder on the assembly line until a future product like the EV6 takes over.
The Stinger will likely be axed sooner rather than later. It first arrived in the US in 2018 and received a substantial facelift for the 2022 model year.
Considering the low demand for a Kia sports sedan, it likely won't last long. There are rumors that its life will be cut short at the end of this year, but Kia spoke to CarBuzz at the 2021 LA Auto Show and said it's happy with sales. It would not comment on a potential discontinuation date.
If the rumors are true, it would be a pity because Stinger did a lot to improve Kia's image in the USA. It hit the ball straight out of the park as a first attempt. It took the fight straight to the Germans and provided as much driver enjoyment, more standard features, and at a significantly reduced price.
When its time comes, the Stinger is definitely going to automotive heaven.