Is the Kia Stinger about to be axed?

The Kia Stinger almost broke the internet when it was first unveiled at the 2017 Detroit motor show, but it may not survive its first generation.

According to a new report by Korean Car Blog, production of the flagship Korean liftback will cease after the second quarter of 2022.

The publication quotes “local industry sources” presented plans to repurpose the Sohari plant which currently builds the Stinger for the production of electrified models, including the as-yet unconfirmed Carnival Hybrid.

It’s reported the Stinger’s slowing sales across the globe, including in Europe and the USA, are to blame for its early demise. The story is similar in the Stinger’s home market of South Korea, where it’s now outsold by its Genesis G70 sibling.

Originally, this first-generation model was meant to last until around 2024, with no guarantee of a sequel.

Kia is yet to come out and officially comment on the Stinger’s future, having just released a facelifted model within the past year.

However, we reached out to Kia Australia and received the following statement:

“The recently updated Stinger will continue to convey the fun-do-drive character of the Kia brand with more technology and power than ever before. As a company policy, we do not share future production plans this far in advance.”

“Further information will be disclosed in due course. In the meantime, Kia will continue to offer products with the best safety, style and performance.”

In Australia, the Stinger has enjoyed adequate sales but never kicked off in line with the hype surrounding it, given its introduction somewhat coincided with the demise of the locally-built Holden Commodore V8.

Kia has sold 967 Stingers to June 30, 2021, an increase of 13.6 per cent on the same period in 2020.

A total of 1778 Stingers found Australian homes in 2020 – equivalent to 148 sales per month, keeping in mind the new car market took a huge hit last year due to COVID-19.

We’ve heard of delays and backorders from owner groups, not helped by the fact the bulk of sales are the flagship twin-turbo V6 GT variant.

Time will tell whether the Stinger survives beyond 2022, but think of it this way – the Stinger was a statement that the Korean brand can make a premium, rear-drive performance car.

Now Kia has everyone’s attention, it’s preparing its next big thing, the Tesla-rivalling EV6 that, like the Stinger, transcends the brand’s budget-conscious roots and puts Kia in the same sentence as established players.

While the Stinger could be nearing its end, Kia’s foray into premium motoring is only just gaining traction.

Do you think the Stinger deserves to stick around? Let us know in the comments

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