In a parallel universe, someone would shed a tear.
Korean marque Kia have revised their lineup in our market, trimming the slow-performing models from their showrooms both to maintain cost efficiency, and also to make room for new cars. Read on to find out what Kia’s got planned for the coming year or so.
The Kia Optima, the large saloon that the company previously said it would “not get rid of” and “work harder” to sharpen its appeal, has been canned because of its lacklustre appeal and slowing sales (writing that line alone has made the day of this writer). We were surprised when early last year Kia Australia affirmed its commitment to the Optima, but right now, we’re just amused.
The Kia Rondo compact MPV has also been thrown out of the showroom, after only 150-odd units went to happy new homes over 2018. The Kia Soul did much better by comparison, with over 800 funky hatchbacks sold over the previous year, but it too hasn’t survived the axe.
The Soul is coming back though, as an all-electric five-door either next year or the year after, as part of Kia’s intention to expand its EV lineup locally.
Kia won’t be leaving unsightly gaps in the lineup though, as there will be a small SUV coming later this year to sit between the Cerato & Sportage, in the highly-popular compact-SUV class. That should hopefully see Kia’s sales figures improve significantly. But as Kia moves into 2019, the family will consist only of the Picanto & Rio hatchbacks, the Cerato saloon & hatch, the Stinger liftback, and the Sportage & Sorento SUVs, with the Niro EV and new small SUV arriving in early-2020.