The latest rumors have the Kia Stinger dead by 2022.
The KIA Stinger’s only been on the market for five years and hasn’t even gotten a proper second generation but it looks like Kia Motors is going to kill its Stinger by 2022.Embed from Getty Images
This latest rumor comes courtesy of The Korean Blog citing “local industry sources.” Recently released production plans for all of Kia’s manufacturing facilities including their Sohari plant in Gwangmyeong, South Korea (home of the Stinger) have the KIA stinger dead in the water by “the second quarter of 2022” despite concerted efforts to revive sales numbers.
On paper, the Kia stinger remains an amazing value. The consensus is this mid-40s to low-50 thousand dollar performance sedan punched up its weight class. Add in tons of luxury features standard, an industry leading warranty, and the performance to back it all up and the Stinger looked like a home run.
Kia Stinger sales in the United States started out strong and peaked in 2018 with 16,806 Stingers making their way out dealership lots. Since then, the sales rate has never been the same.
A contributor to increasingly poor sales, at least in the United States, was a poor dealership experience. Several potential Stinger buyers found out that local Kia dealerships were ill-equipped to handle a Kia shopper ready to finance $45,000+. Despite plenty of Stingers sitting, customers were turned away, given the cold shoulder, and given little wiggle room when it came time to negotiate.
Depreciation certainly didn’t help, little changes between model years and an average of 25 percent depreciation after one year made selling new ones that much harder. Lease sales bolstered sales numbers.
Despite large strides in style, technology, value, and reliability in the American market, a good chunk of performance sedan shoppers found it hard to justify spending BMW and Audi money on a brand that also produces Fortes and Souls.
In South Korea, despite a strong sales start in 2017, sales numbers plummeted to more than half of its debut year. To make matters worse, the Stinger was overtaken by its Hyundai brother, the slightly more expensive G70.
The numbers aren’t going to about-face in the United States soon and there’s not enough room for two Korean performance sedans in South Korea and elsewhere so, plans to kill off the Stinger in 2024 are moved up two years.
Are you upset that Kia’s not giving the Stinger a second chance? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.