When the Kia Stinger made its way to production back in 2018, it was a welcome surprise for a brand that was known more for its value focused entries versus having any form of sporting pedigree. But while the Stinger certainly made an immediate impact, a new report suggests that the initial hype for the sedan has dissipated, and that the end of production could be far closer than many have realized.
This stems from a new report that was released by the Korean Car Blog which claims that low sales for the Stinger could damper the desire for a second generation model. The South Korean publication cites anonymous rumors that it claims to have heard from sources within Kia regarding the axing of the second generation model, but if the rumors do pan out to be true, it would not be a very surprising outcome. Sales for the Stinger have plunged by 21 percent through the first quarter of this year when compared to the same period of time back in 2019. March also proved to be a very bad month for the Stinger, with sales decreasing by a whopping 40 percent when compared to last year. When this is factored in with a smaller 18 percent drop in sales between 2018 and 2019, it’s evident that the situation for the model has gotten critical.
Things got much worse when the COVID-19 pandemic shifted into high gear, with the virus forcing the shutdown of hundred of showrooms globally, and it is putting an enormous strain on the bottom lines of many automakers. In the case of Kia, it put a big bet on the Stinger, and was hoping that the model would be “economically successful” despite the Stinger being the “halo” offering in Kia’s new vehicle lineup. We suspect that the surge in SUV and CUV demand (especially before the pandemic) was already putting pressure on the Stinger with the model suffering the same lagging sales that have dogged many other sedan and non utility based offerings in the marketplace before the rest of the domino effect kicked in.
That’s a shame since the current generation Stinger is actually a very good performance bargain, with Car-Revs-Daily having the chance to experience the Stinger’s charms on several occasions. We liked the crisp handling and poise that is baked into the chassis as well as the power that emanates from the 3.3 liter twin-turbocharged V6. These very virtues could inspire Kia to still try and help the Singer find its mojo, with the Korean brand being rumored to have a significant mid-cycle refresh in store for the sporty four door. This would include a reworked front fascia, upgrades to the V6 engine, as well as updated instrumentation and infotainment technology. It’s not an all out second generation model, but it could be a definite make it or break it move for Kia especially in the long haul.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.