The sedan market is in a noticeable state of decline. A segment that once dominated the 1990s and the early 2000s is being rapidly consumed by a resurgence in demand for SUVs, CUVs, and pickups. A number of models (some of them iconic mainstays) have been axed to make room for more utilities, and it appears that is exactly why the slow selling Kia K900 and Cadenza will be making their final curtain call for 2021.
K900 and Cadenza Were In An Awkward Place
First reported by Car & Driver and later confirmed officially by Kia themselves, the Cadenza and the flagship K900 sedans were already on thin ice with the both of them recording low sales numbers. When the Kia K900 appeared, it was supposed to be a proverbial flagship vehicle for Kia, but it started with slow sales right out the gate and a refreshed second generation model did little to help improve things, In fact, the K900 was the brand’s worst seller with only a mere 305 examples finding homes in 2020.
As for the Cadenza that model did slightly better though its nothing to write home about either. The Cadenza managed to sell 1,265 units in 2020 but that’s a drop in the bucket when compared to the 12,556 Stingers the company sold as well as the 70,000 plus sales that the bulk of Kia’s SUV lineup managed to do. As a result Kia had to do the hard thing and kill off both of them to help create some financial breathing room for more utility models.
” An important part of our growth as a brand is our ability to understand market conditions and recognize our customers needs. To that end, as the auto industry shifts its focus from full-size sedans to SUVs, Kia is poised to succeed with a robust range of utility offerings which includes Telluride, Sorento, Sportage and Seltos. As we realign our model lineup to meet consumer demands, the K900 and Cadenza will be discontinued for the 2021 model year.
The second half of Kia’s statement also has us concerned about the future of Kia’s other non utility offerings. The brand is quick to state that it intends to succeed with a wide range of utility offerings. While the Stinger is another potential candidate for the axe due to its sluggish (albeit higher) sales figures it would seem that the Kia Forte and Rio are also in Kia’s crosshairs. Both of those models compete in budget focused portions of the sedan segment which has also been facing pressure from small CUVs like the Seltos.
The Rio in particular is the most vulnerable with that model not receiving a definitive update since its last major one in 2017. The Rio’s age is a disadvantage and when you add in the fact that it is an especially vulnerable to cannibalization from CUVs it does emerge as a potential model that’s living on borrowed time.
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.