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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.
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.
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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