The Kia Stinger’s existence in the Korean carmaker’s line-up has been fascinating to plot. The predominantly rear-wheel driven sports sedan has been incredibly popular among critics, but has chronically struggled to sell in the showroom.
This is often linked to the model’s timing, it being released to the market in the middle of a boom in interest in family SUVs. Some have also pondered whether the market simply wasn’t ready for the notion of a ‘premium Kia’.
Why get a Kia when you could get an entry-level BMW 3er or Merc C-Class? Never mind that the former would offer much more power and spec than the latter.
Now, the nameplate’s future in Kia’s line-up has once again been called into question. Korean outlet Korean Car Blog reports that the model is set to be phased out in early 2022.
According to the report, Kia’s Sohari Plant in Gwangmyeong is set to change tact. It’s going to pivot to focus on the mass production of electrified vehicles (the story specifically namedrops a hybrid version of the new Carnival).
This, the report says, will seal the fate of the Stinger, which does not yet have an electrified powertrain. It says that production of the Stinger will cease in the second quarter of 2022.
In the Stinger’s most critical market outside of Korea, the United States, sales have been a struggle. According to reports, it’s Kia’s lowest-selling nameplate in North America, with just 12,556 delivered in the US last year and a mere 147 delivered in the first six months of 2021.
Admittedly, the latter figure has been influenced by the global chip shortage and Kia’s decision to prioritise other models.
Some have suggested that the Stinger was recently updated (landing in New Zealand earlier this year) is evidence that the report should be taken with a grain of salt. However, given that the update was hardly comprehensive, nothing would surprise us.