The Kia Stinger is being discontinued in the United Kingdom, though the Australian division remains committed to its turbocharged rear-drive halo.
In a media release sent out this week, Kia UK confirmed the Stinger would be taken off sale effective immediately, with the new EV6 GT electric vehicle set to serve as something of a spiritual successor and brand flagship in the region.
Kia’s British division noted it would “fulfil all existing customer orders for the model”, and that the Stinger continues to stay in production South Korea – but what does this mean for other right-hand drive (RHD) markets like Australia?
“Kia UK’s decision has very little if any impact on Australia,” said Roland Rivero, general manager for product planning at Kia Australia.
“As you know, UK has CO2 regulations and Stinger is not a big seller in that region. For Kia Australia it continues to be business as usual for Stinger unless we all hear something official from Kia HQ.”
When questioned about whether the Stinger’s axing in the UK potentially opens up more RHD supply for our market, Mr Rivero responded with: “We don’t anticipate any dramatic changes to our supply”.
It may be considered a slow seller in other parts of the world, but the Stinger is setting sales records in the Australian market.
Earlier this year in May, the nameplate set an all-time monthly record of 428 registrations, and as of October 31 is at 2054 units delivered year to date – representing growth of 54.0 per cent on the same period in 2021.
That’s despite the overwhelming majority of local customers – more than 90 per cent last we checked – opting for the flagship Stinger GT, complete with a twin-turbo V6 petrol engine and a price tag of $64,960 plus on-road costs.
Numerous rumours have been swirling of late about the Stinger’s demise, the most recent by Korea’s Auto Times indicating production of the rear-drive liftback will cease in April 2023, though Kia Australia’s chief operating officer, Damien Meredith, poured cold water on the speculation in June.
“We haven’t heard anything official from Korea on whether or not we’re going to a new model for Stinger or not so we’re just happy at the moment that we’re getting fantastic supply for the car and it’s doing exceptionally well in market,” Mr Meredith told CarExpert.
“The future on an operational level is fantastic.”
For the 2023 model-year the Stinger continues to offer four grades in Australia, two four-cylinder turbo petrols and two twin-turbo V6 petrols, with prices ranging from $51,250 to $64,960 before on-road costs.
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