Kia Has No Plans To Launch A Sporty RWD Coupe At This Point! Here’s Why…

The feeling is that Kia still has some brand image building to do with their mass-market models before they turn their attentions to sportier releases.

That was what Kia overseas marketing chief Lee Soon-nam said in a discussion with Automotive News.

That does not bode well for those who had hoped to see a production model of the GT4 Stinger concept in the near future.

The problem as Lee sees it is that the volume of a car like the GT4 would be small, which he feels will do little to push the brand forward.

Kia cee'd GT red colorAs such, he feels that the best way to go is to build the brand to a much higher level before moving into smaller volume releases like sporty models.

The GT4 Stinger wowed crowds at the 2014 Detroit auto show, where many patrons compared it to the Mazda MX-5 Miata and the Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S.

It has a 315-horsepower turbo under the hood, mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive.

All of the talk at that time was that Kia was prepared to make a sporty production model with the Stinger as the inspiration.

It would now appear that the opposite is true, and it now looks as though Kia are intent on staying in the mainstream and avoiding niche models, at least for now.

During the Detroit show, a Kia official had stated that he didn’t see much standing in the way of the GT4 Stinger going the production route.

He did say that it would have to make business sense in order for the project to move forward.

Thomas Kearns, chief designer at the US Kia design center, also seemed optimistic about a production model, saying that they were essentially just waiting for the green light from management.

GT4 Stinger Concept designHe said that the concept wasn’t too far out in left field in its design so that production could move forward if the company saw fit to head in that direction.

Adding more fuel to the fire was the news that Kia design chief Peter Schreyer publicly stated that there was a real desire to add a sports car to the lineup.

He pointed at the GT4 Stinger as an example of what that might look like.

Lee Soon-nam revealed that he believes a sports model would not deliver a high number of sales, which does not really make it a viable business proposition.

He went on to say that a niche model could in fact hurt the brand somewhat, which would not be good when you consider how far it has come in the past few years.

He doesn’t believe that a successful roadster would help the cause that much either, as he feels there are still too many people out there that are not familiar with the Kia brand.

Lee feels the focus at the moment should be getting the attention of those customers through the mass-market route. [Source: Autonews.com]

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4 thoughts on “Kia Has No Plans To Launch A Sporty RWD Coupe At This Point! Here’s Why…

  1. This is not a funny joke. Seriously! no brand is more ready to launch a stinger car then Kia. I am really hoping that Peter Schryer sticks to his guns and convinces Kia to produce it. This article really saddens me.

  2. I am in agreement with Kickside……. Kia is in a prime spot to launch a sportier car at this time. They have my business already with both a Sorrento and Soul and I can tell you that if they produced this GT4 I would be all over it in a heartbeat. My opinion is that the price point to the GT4 is going to play a major factor in whether it will be a success or not and increase brand awareness for Kia. This car is just screaming to be made. Don’t let us down KIA!

  3. The Stinger if built according to original intent would require a new RWD platform and that simply isn’t feasible (the shortened Genesis platform is too large) and sales of the BRZ/FRS have been disappointing.

    What would make more sense would be to bring the GT concept to production and then do a 2-door version of it – which would give Kia a Q50/60 and IS/RC competitors.

    If an Asian make is going to sell a RWD coupe, it’s better done as a luxury coupe.

  4. I agree with all comments above and even if it’s few months later I would like to add my opinion here.

    Sales of BRZ/FRS have been disappointing simply because it is a beautiful car (I love it) but with no target group on the market anymore (or too small), and for the upper target group, it is just too cheap!

    I would love to see the GT4 on the market but definitely not its surrogate. It should stay like it is, with exactly this design and proportions, with this rims and this wheels size, not a change (on the interiors I am flexible).
    If Kia decides to produce the Stinger it should be a Premium-Sporty RWD and not another BRZ/FRS!! Better quality, premium interiors, price a little bit under the base Cayman or around the Elise.

    Make a product that people love (and that has a real market segment) and Kia can have in return: higher profit even with low sale numbers, long term brand image improvement, and happy design lover customers.

    I would not spend 30K Euros for a BRZ/FRS (maybe if a STI comes out), but I would spend 40K to have this incredible piece of design (that the GT4 is) in my courtyard!!!!

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