The midsize-sedan market, once one of the U.S. auto industry’s biggest, continues to shrink, falling 14 percent to below 1 million vehicles (926,112) last year. Volume dropped another 19 percent in the first quarter.
Another Kia sedan, the rear-wheel-drive Stinger, will likely be cut in the coming months. According to a source close to the subject, Kia will stop building the Stinger after this quarter. The forthcoming Kia EV6 GT will fill the void in the lineup, said the source.
The Stinger was initially conceived as a brand-building exercise for Kia. “[The Stinger] demonstrated that Kia could do a bona fide rear-wheel-drive performance car, and even though it wasn’t a volume seller, it helped elevate the Kia brand considerably,” Kim said. “Even if it ends up as a one-generation vehicle, it will still have done its intended job.”
While the Stinger was a niche model for Kia, it has remained popular: U.S. sales rose 10 percent to 4,002 through April.
“Stinger remains an important part of Kia’s award-winning lineup of vehicles and a powerful piece of our overall brand transformation,” a Kia spokesperson said.
The Sonata, K5 and Stinger would join a growing list of discontinued sedans.
The Ford Fusion, Mazda6, Volkswagen Passat and Buick Regal have all exited the U.S. market. Large cars also are becoming scarcer, with Hyundai’s Azera, the Kia Cadenza, Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Impala all dropped. Toyota’s Avalon will be canceled after the 2022 model year.