The Kia Stinger was a game-changer. It’s a competent sport sedan from a brand that was once thought of as a joke. From the beginning, it was punching far above its weight. But as Korean Car Blog reports, the Stinger may be killed off next year.
The Stinger never sold in big numbers. And Kia never expected it too. But rumors of its demise have been swirling for years. The recent refresh killed those rumors.And in 2019 after sales reports came out showing Stinger sales were down 19 percent from the year prior, Car Advice spoke with Kia VP and senior designer Gregory Guillaume who said the brand wasn’t throwing in the towel on the Stinger, and that cars like that took time to build the brand up:
“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.”
Well, it looks like that time may be up. Korean Car Blog says that the Stinger is set to end production after the second quarter of 2022. Continually slow sales of the Stinger, as well as plant retooling for upcoming EVs are to blame:
According to the local industry sources, during July 16th Kia released its production plans for all of its South Korean plants, including the Sohari Plant, for the 2022 year and revealed bad news for Stinger. According to that plan, Kia will cease the production of the Stinger by the second quarter of 2022 after several adjustments due to continued sluggish sales.
During earlier 2022, Kia will transform the lines at Sohari Plant to start the mass production of electrified vehicles such as the Carnival Hybrid variant so this is the first time that the Stinger fate has been formalized.
So far this year, sales of the Stinger are down 40 percent from 2020 with just 6,498 sold so far. Of course, those numbers look worse because the year isn’t done yet. Sales were only down 10 percent 2019 to 2020 and 21 percent from 2018 (its best sales year) to 2019. While the numbers aren’t amazing, they don’t seem bad enough to cancel the Stinger. I reached out to Kia for comment and was informed that nothing official has been decided:
Outside of the recently launched 2022 Stinger refresh, Kia America has made no official announcement regarding the Stinger and does not comment on future product.