Kia Admits Stinger Successor Is In Doubt As Sales Didn’t Live Up To Expectations

Kia says it is still yet to decide if it will launch a successor to its Stinger sports saloon.

While speaking with Car Advice at the Frankfurt Motor Show, vice president and senior chief designer of Kia’s styling studio in Germany, Gregory Guillaume, admitted that the Stinger hasn’t been selling in the numbers the company had hoped for.

“We never really expected to do massive volumes,” Guillaume said. “It was a halo car. We did want to be successful at least in America, the market where we thought there is a chance that it works. We had very high expectations for that market and it’s very difficult to start in such segments.

“The beginning of my career was at Audi. I remember… it took three generations of the A8 (limousine) to be seen on eye level to a (BMW) 7 Series or (Mercedes) S-Class. You have to persevere. If you’re entering these segments (whether) it’s premium or image vehicles, you have to give yourself a bit of time,” he explained.

Also Read: New Kia Stinger GTS Boasts A Dynamic AWD System With Drift Mode

Guillaume and his design team played a pivotal role in bringing the Stinger to life and admit that customers are still coming to terms with paying a premium price for a Kia sedan.

“We have to see if Stinger continues – first of all if it will be continuing, which I really hope so – and if we think this is the format to continue in the future,” he said, before going on to suggest that if the Stinger does live on, it could be electrified.

“As you know there’s a lot going on with electrification, so it could be that Stinger becomes something else. I don’t know. We’re not there yet. We’ve got a bit of time.”

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  • Leconte Dave

    The Next Stinger should be an electric car

    • Matteo Tommasi

      The next Stinger needs to be a good handling sedan like this one.

    • ErnieB

      The next stinger should not have a Kia badge on it.

      • Leconte Dave

        Rebadge it as a Genesis G75

        • Danny Boy

          And make it look more like a G70 but with a hatch. Yeah…..
          Legroom isn’t great in my G70!

        • bd0007

          What Kia does has no bearing on Hyundai or Genesis.

  • Ben

    Same happened with the ATS-V. Many journalist loved it, the numbers said it was a home run, but the sales just tanked. It happens. People don’t only buy vehicles on numbers. This is the same issue in the EV segment. Not everything has to be a numbers monster. It just has to be something people love. The stinger is a decent vehicle and like the ATS-V will be one helluva used car deal.

    • Iiari

      Um, kinda apples and oranges here. As someone who shopped a few years ago for an ATS-V, I think each car had completely unique flaws. The ATS-V, critically:
      1 – Was overpriced: Like every Caddy model in that timeframe, it was bumping up against the Germans in pricing. Some ATS-V models were even *more* expensive than M3’s, and that was a non-starter… And what always kills Caddy is that most people in this class lease vehicles, and they’ve never been competitive with the Germans there. Leasing, an M3 would often be cheaper…
      2 – It had a terrible interior: As much as I loved the ATS-V, I could not see myself looking at that Cobalt-esque rental car gauge cluster for 5+ years every day. The entire dash just screamed cheap, and the interior had almost nothing to upgrade it over lesser ATS models. And despite every forum and journalism outlet screaming about that gauge cluster, during the mid-cycle refresh Caddy shockingly did absolutely nothing to change it.

      The Stingers problems are that it, too, gets pricey towards the high end of the option list and that it’s a Kia. It always should have been a Genesis and there’s no reason it shouldn’t have been the G80 to the smaller model’s G70…

      • Ben

        I think you’re missing some key similarities here.

        1 – The Kia Stinger is actually more expensive than its more appointed, fully loaded , Genesis G70. Adding insult to injury, the G70 can be had with a manual transmission, but not the Stinger, the sport orientated model. If I remember correctly, a kitted out ATS-V was more expensive than the M3’s base price. Considering most M3’s and M4’s on the lot have at least 2-3 options checked, a loaded ATS-V was virtually the same price as M3’s base.

        2 – The Stinger can’t be put down for trying, but the interior is not up to snuff considering the G70 is around. Regardless if it was said or not in each review, most opinions came from the perspective “Not bad for a Kia” or “For a first shot, Kia did well”. However, people don’t want “okay” or “not bad”.

        Most shots and coverage were from the range topping model, as expected. But there was a significant quality drop off between high end and mid tier. Most people buy mid tier or low tier model trims and the sales numbers tell us people weren’t pleased. The Kia Stinger is a great used vehicle, but spring for a loaded GT2 trimmed model.

  • PhilMcGraw

    As I’ve said before: sports cars aren’t being bought in the same numbers as they were before. If they had placed the twin turbo engine in the Telluride and bump the power up to 400 hp I bet it would have been a huge hit. Crossovers are the market to sell to right now.

  • GobbleUp

    The “no duh” headline of the year. Joke of a car billed as high performance. LMAO at the journalists who waxed lyrical all over the car at launch.

    Like saying an Infinity is luxury or sporty. Please.

  • charlotteharry57

    As I said way back at the intro, it’s the badge on the front. AND the fact that, just because Kia keeps nailing JD Power quality awards, Kia dealers act like they’re selling Lexuses. Discounts off sticker? Maybe, but beg. Yes, Kia, there should NOT be a successor. Let the G70 take it from here.

    • Bige Lee

      Where did it hurt you

    • Danny Boy

      Precisely my sentiments! You hit the nail on the head yo.

  • Surprised not! It’s like all these people who carp about wanting station wagons, and when the manufacturer builds them, no one buys them. In the end, the wife makes the decision and it will be the new Mommy Wagon, the SUV. 😳🤣😏

    • dolsh

      That’s not a wagon. It’s barely a hatchback. It’s a $50k sedan from Kia when the world is buying CUV’s and view Kia as the maker of the Sportage. FWIW, if it was actually a wagon, it would likely still fail.

      • Matt

        He wasn’t saying the Stinger was a wagon, he was using an analogy..

    • I hear the TourX is selling better then expected for Buick.

      and the Outback has always sold well.

      i guess you just have to build it right, AWD and a slight lift seems to help…

  • Merc1

    Uh…focus all this type of effort over at Genesis. Kia is not a luxury/sport brand.


    • Bige Lee

      Hyundai Motor Group owns Hyundai Motors, Genesis Motors, and about 33% of Kia. Kia isn’t actually HMG’s full subsidiary.

    • Jawohl

      I think Genesis will struggle also

      • Bige Lee

        You want them to struggle.

        • Jawohl

          I want them to do what they do best – budget lux for the plebeians

          • PulloGorko102

            Update yourself Koreans have

          • Merc1

            And they’re failing at it.


          • bd0007

            Hmmm, must be why the G90 outsold the LS 500 27 to 4 last month in Canada.

            And worldwide, the G90 absolutely destroys the LS 500 in sales.

            Unlike the G90, Toyota isn’t seeing much ROI on the LS 500.

          • PulloGorko102

            How are they failing at it when they are ranked #1 by Consumer Reports and JD Power….?

          • Jawohl

            Then stick to it.

          • bd0007

            Sorry, but that’s the Japanese.

          • Jawohl

            Then Genesis should stop masquerading as Japanese competitors

          • bd0007

            Japanese competitors? LOL!

            Genesis has NO interest in offering “tarted up” FWD crossovers or sedans like the Japanese.

            Both their sedans and CUVS will be RWD as proper luxury models should be.

          • Jawohl

            Lol. Atleast the Japanese sell

      • Merc1

        Well yeah, they news SUVs like yesterday.


    • Danny Boy

      Point blank, period! Thank you!

    • PulloGorko102

      Kia makes more premium cars than non premium ones. It’s the fault of naive people like yourselves who refuse to update their knowledge base. They make very high-end well-built cars (except for the Rio)

  • Matteo Tommasi

    Their problem is that they’re trying to turn every brand into a sporty one. Hyundai is running race winning cars in WRC and WTCR (E-WTCR car incoming) and presented a very good i30 N, Kia has the Stinger, and then Genesis (seems like today every luxury brand has to be sporty).

  • thejohnnycanuck

    That’s a shame because it is a great looking car. I think part of the problem is many of the people who appreciate the Stinger and would love to drive one simply can’t afford it.

    I wonder how it would have fared as a 2-door, call it a spiritual successor to the Genesis coupe. You sure see enough of those around.

    • xrnzaaas

      Genesis should’ve introduced a new coupe instead of having three limousines in their lineup.

      • bd0007

        There is a new 2-door on the way, but will be lucky to sell even HALF the volume that the Stinger is doing.

  • Nordschleife

    I feel you sell enough suv’s to always warrant a niche model but I get it. I applaud you for putting it out there because we all know you didn’t have to.

  • Craig

    “… it took three generations of the A8 to be seen on eye level to a 7 Series or S-Class. You have to persevere. If you’re entering these segments (whether) it’s premium or image vehicles, you have to give yourself a bit of time.” REASON ENOUGH to work on a successor.

    • bd0007

      The diff is that the A8 doesn’t sell anywhere close to what the 7 Series sells, much less the S Class.

      Otoh, sales of the Stinger is within the ballpark of the 4 Series GC and A5 Sportback.

      • Craig

        Even more reason for KIA not to give up on the Stinger.

  • SteersUright

    Simply too big, too heavy and too pricey. The world wasnt ready for a $50k Kia no matter the performance unless it was a spectacular loss-leader for the company like when Lexus launched the LS back in the day. This simply wasnt as far ahead of the competition as it needed to be, despite being a reasonably great car in many ways.

    • PulloGorko102

      You have no idea what guy are talking about. It’s faster than a Mustang GT

      • SteersUright

        OMG, praise mary its faster than a Mustang GT!! Glory be, should’ve sold like hotcakes!! Wonder wth went wrong then?!

      • Mike Sinyaboot ©

        He is an idiot. Kia can’t produce Tellurides fast enough and that is an SUV that costs $50k fully loaded. People don’t care about the badge as Kia is building fantastic cars. It is simply due to the fact that people don’t want sportbacks, they want SUVs.

        • Jawohl

          Yes an suv, which people want and not a sedan that most don’t want!

        • PulloGorko102

          That’s true, it’s an SUV buyers market.

      • TheNovanglus

        A Mustang GT with a 10spd is 3.8s to 60, so, no, it isn’t. A Stinger is mid-4s.

        If you wanted a fast 4-door at Stinger GT pricing, you’d just buy a Tesla and be done with it.

  • Dude

    That’s unfortunate. It’s a great car

  • Maykel

    Poor timing, world’s gone mad with crossovers. Hell even Germans are cutting down on sportbacks.

  • kachuks

    Class it up a little bit. Remove all the fake vents for starters.

  • Richard Carter

    Bought mine couldn’t be happier. Don’t want to build a successor fine I’ll build my own tune this car till it’s spitting out 700 hp and call it stinger x

    • Six_Tymes

      lucky you bought one. they’ll all be gone fairly soon I suspect. What did it cost you “out the door” ?

    • Ben

      700hp? I didn’t know Kia blocks and heads were so stout. Hopefully your transmission will hold up to that amount of power running through the AWD system.

    • Bash

      700hp is kinda Dodge territory. just saying man.

  • Six_Tymes

    They sure sank a lot of money into developing this car. Since its release, I have only seen one on the road. Shame, its an underrated car, with bad timing to market. Thanks SUV buyers for killing another great. Sad

    • Matt

      Not that much money if you consider the chassis and drivetrain is straight from the Genesis stable. Sharing a platform across multiple models saves a lot of development costs.

    • pissedoffjuicebox

      I have seen about 15-20 on the road where I’m from, which is not bad considering the rarity that the sales numbers suggest.

  • NoMorePremium

    So I guess nobody aspires to buy a KIA ? What a shock.
    I don’t know what’s wrong with building quality car for masses but I am sure bunch of marketing folks will have an answer.

    • bd0007

      Guess nobody “aspires” to buy the 4 Series GC or the A5 Sportback either as the Stinger sells about as well as them.

  • Alduin

    Why buy this when the G70 is a worlds better car?

    • john1168

      A loaded G70 with everything is CHEAPER than a loaded Stinger with everything even though the base price of the Stinger is cheaper. Personally, I think the Stinger should have come from Genesis instead of KIA.

      • it really should, but in the end of the day Hyundia/Genisis and Kia are actually unique companies. i think they own stake in each other, and platform/tech share but beyond that they do what they want.

    • bd0007

      But the Stinger is selling better than the G70 despite being a more niche body-style.

    • Rick Alexander

      You buy the Stinger, because the Kia Stinger is a different beast from the G70. I prefer the looks of the G70 also, but to say it’s “worlds better” is a matter of opinion. They use nearly identical running gear, although the G70 is tuned more for performance and handling. The Stinger on the other hand, is more of a GT cruiser. Capable, but softer in its damping. They also appeal to different demographics. The Stinger is a larger car than the G70. If you want a 3 series fighter, you choose the G70. If an A5 or A7 wannabe is your thing, then a Stinger might be in your future. Clean up the gimmicky rear end treatment of the Stinger, put it on a diet, and shave a few thousand off the price, and maybe even offer a stick, and me thinks KIA may yet save the Stinger.

  • Kagan

    What did you think, only one attempt! You have to several continued attempts before you make a name! You think BMW and audi always were like today! Only Mercedes has been it from the beginning.

    Have a manual!

  • john1168

    I love the Stinger. I seriously considered buying one. I think it looks great and has a lot of features that I like, one of which is the hatchback. It really is too bad it isn’t selling better but to be honest, I think KIA brought it on themselves. Ever since the car came out, it has many quality issues. Bad paint, external trim that wears out prematurely, leather seats that wear out prematurely, brake rotors that warp and bad brake pads, sub woofers that don’t work properly, squeaks and rattles (one of which had a recall at the rear hatch), a gas tank that’s too small for the size of the car, poorer gas mileage than is expected with the V6 and a price that’s about $5000.00 too high. It’s weird because the base price of the Stinger is cheaper than the G70 but when both cars have all the options ticked off, the Stinger with the KIA badge is more expensive than the G70 with the Genesis badge (last I checked by about $1500). Also, the G70 has a double wishbone front suspension where the Stinger does not. And that of course brings us to the KIA badge.

    KIA never expected to sell a lot of Stingers but they did want it to do well in the USA. But when KIA initially sold the Stinger in the US, there was optional equipment that was available everywhere else in the world but wasn’t in the USA. The 360 camera and wireless phone charging for example. Also, some colors were not available in the US and certain interior colors were not available in the US with certain exterior colors. You could get a red and black interior with many different exterior colors in other countries but you could only get a black interior in the US with most exterior color choices. And you couldn’t get that color shifting dark blue color in the US. But it was available everywhere else… And US customers paid $5000 more than other countries for the top spec Stinger. Canada for example, when the money was converted, paid $5k less than the US.

    All of these things I mention I found on Stinger forum sites from actual owners and some of them are backed up from long term tests from Car and Driver and the like. It’s really a shame because it is a really cool car. And although current owners do like the car, they are frustrated by the issues mentioned. I think if KIA fixed the quality issues they’re having (and they have fixed some) and they lowered the price a little, I think it would sell better. At least in the US. A different badge would help too. I don’t mind the KIA badge too much but I think it would do better with a Genesis badge instead.

    Sorry for the long post but I do hope the Stinger stays and sells better. I think the new AWD system where you’ll be able to disconnect power to the front axle and have a total RWD experience will be super cool.

  • Don’tBeSoStupid

    This is the first Korean car that I liked. Looks original too which is nice. It’s a long way though until Americans are prepared to shell out big dough for a Korean car. Korean cars are associated with cheap daily drivers. It’s like that one “luxury” car they made that was part knock off Benz part knock off BMW. I’m sure it was a nice car, I know you get a lot for your money, but that’s the kind of car you get laughed at for buying. Knowing It would cost more to maintain I’d still buy a used S class Benz before I bought a Korean car with a fake S class Benz front end.

    • bd0007

      The (Hyundai) Genesis outsold the competition from Audi, Lexus and Infiniti.

      Kia can’t keep the Telluride in stock which has an ATP above $40k.

      The Stinger models that actually sell are the more expensive GT trims equipped w/ the TTV6.

  • Rob

    Owning a Stinger, I like the car, a lot, only problem is it gets confused with an Optima. The lines are the same, and if an updated model of the Optima is coming with the option of AWD, like the Sonata is potentially, then don’t do another Stinger, I may get a G70 next. But, Kia could change things with a new Stinger, if they make it slightly smaller in the front and back, and make the wheelbase slightly shorter as well, i think handling would be better, and, oh yeah, don’t use the Optima as a base for your styling!

    • BlackPegasus

      What blind man mistakes the Stinger with the Optima? 😄

      The Stinger is the gorgeous sister who’s envied by her Optima sibling.

    • bd0007

      Aside from a resemblance at the greenhouse, there nothing similar btwn the 2 (the front and rear fascias are completely different).

  • Jared Davis

    The first fail was going to the market with a “me too” product. The second fail was bringing a “me too” product at a price point near competition. There are plenty more fun to drive vehicles, and plenty more refined vehicles. It is a fine car, but certainly not exceptional in any category. I won’t even notice it when it’s gone.

    • bd0007

      The price point is a good bit below the competition (4 Series GC and A5 Sportback) and the sales nos. are similar.

      What could use improvement is sales of the base engine trims, but likely won’t happen until the engine upgrade to the 2.5T.

      • Bob

        They can try all they want to be a BMW or Audi, but below the GT performance, the real competition is a Camry – think about it do people really cross shop Kia with BMW, or Porsche, or Lexus? No they cross shop against Ford, Dodge, Chevy, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai… below the GT trim – this is just a ME TOO car with Plenty of competition. At the GT level, if you care about your ego – You buy a BMW, or Audi – if you just want to go like hell and have fun doing it then a Charger Scarpack kicks its butt. There is nothing to get really excited about at the bottom or top trims. I also won’t notice it when it’s gone

        • bd0007

          Don’t know about Camry, but the Arteon, TLX, Regal, etc.

          That’s why I stated that the Stinger needs the 2.5T (300+ HP) stat as its new base engine.

    • Rick Alexander

      I’m not sure what you mean by a “me too” vehicle. If you’re referring to the Audi and Merc 4 door fastbacks, those cars sell for waaay more money. I agree with you that for the money, there’s plenty of other options (like a 3 Series, or A4 with low miles). IMO, Kia should have brought the first concept with the “Stinger” nameplate on it to market first (KIA GT4 Stinger). It would have appealed to a younger demographic, and would have started at a lower price point making it more accessible. Then they could have segued into the introduction of the Stinger 4 door.

  • Danny Boy

    Let’s be very clear here! As I predicted from jump, any car at this price point, regardless its greatness, will fail if it has KIA stamped all over the it, and most importantly on the steering wheel where you’re reminded that you’re in a KIA!
    As sad and shallow as that may be, it’s the truth! I myself have a G70, and what Hyundai did right is created a sub brand. And no i would’ve bought my 3.3 T had it had Hyundai stamped across the steering wheel. Again, call me shallow Hal, but I remember what those brand names represent to me, and that’s Kia Sophia and Hyundai Accent.
    Thia really is a great Kia, but theu must create another logo if they want to sell this type of vehicle. My fingers are crossed for the second year sell of the Awesome Telluride. I think it will fail due to the same 3 letters. KIA!


    • bd0007

      The Hyundai branded Genesis sedan outsold everything in its segment, but the E Class and 5 Series.

      Kia was expecting too much from what is a niche segment (fastback/4-door coupe) – the Stinger is selling about as well as the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the Audi A5 Sportback, and what selling better than Kia expected are the higher priced GT trims (and what’s selling worse than expectations are the lower priced turbo-4 trims).

    • Fortunate Paradox

      It’s not totally shallow. Genesis is building a good reputation and the resale values will follow. I am on my 4th BMW. The leases are very attractive and affordable because of their desirability and high resale (i.e., low lease payments)

  • Danny Boy

    Very true! Kind of my sentiments.

  • Bige Lee

    The G70 is much smaller, not hatchback, even suspension setups are different. Only thing that’s shared: powertrain, and chassis architect(but heavily modified)

    • john1168

      Yeah the G70 has a double wishbone front suspension where the Stinger does not.

  • bd0007

    The Stinger actually sells pretty well in Germany, but sales will take a hit as Germany tightens its emissions regs (other countries in the EU w/ high CO2 taxes make the Stinger as expensive as a Panamera).

    Kia needs to bring a hybrid variant tied to the new 2.5T engine to market to make further inroads into the EU market.

    • Rick Alexander

      Bringing a hybrid to market at this point in time would be a mistake. Unless said Hybrid is a 4 cylinder engine mated to an electric engine. That engine needs to make at least 350hp for a car the size of the Stinger, to keep enthusiasts happy. Electrification is the next step, if you wanna be a player in the soap opera called Autodom. A high performing 4 cylinder/electric engine, is the only other option that I see working. Oh… and put that car on a diet for godsake!

      • bd0007

        What hybrid isn’t an ICE mated to an electric engine?

        And a hybridizing the 2.5T (300+) would offer 350HP easy.

        Full electrification is too still too expensive for most and many don’t have easy access to charging.

        BEV sales have plummeted in areas where govt. subsidies have been reduced and the extensive system of charging stations built in the UK have yet to make $$.

  • bd0007

    Where you are WRONG (once again).

    1. Priced significantly lower than its direct competitive set – 4 Series GC and A5 Sportback.
    2. Adaptive dampers wouldn’t have made much of a diff., much less a V8.

  • bd0007

    Is the K9/K900 not a luxury vehicle?

    And Toyota isn’t a lux/sport brand.

    The K9/K900 outsells the LS 500 worldwide.

    As does the Toyota Crown.

    • Merc1

      Did you read his post? Do you ever read anything man?

      The K900 is NOT a high end vehicle.

      Toyota isn’t, but LEXUS IS. Do you seriously not understand that? You can’t be this limited man. NO ONE said a thing about Toyota, that is why they have LEXUS. The Koreans have Genesis for this type of vehicle.

      SO what it’s a race to the bottom of the sale charts. Thanks for pointing out who is the biggest loser among losers.


      • bd0007

        According to whom? You? LOL!

        All the auto publications list the K900 as a lux models and it certainly is more luxurious than any Lexus sedan aside from the LS 500.

        Which itself, is LESS luxurious than the TOYOTA Century (says something when the Japanese royal family ride is a Toyota and not a Lexus – which is really just a Toyota w/ a different marketing arm).

  • Andrew Ngo

    Stinger’s target market is very tiny to begin with and this kind of cars usually only sales well for first 6 months. Just look at Lexus LC500 for example, great brand, super sexy design, fantastic engine, but is it selling well? It is a showcase to let people know that we can produce such high performance vehicle and these technologies will be incorporated to the rest of the lineups.

  • ksegg


  • it sells better then the Cadenza and K900 though.

    maybe they could/should do a Regal TourX to it? a station wagon or crossover sedan variant could help boost sales of the nameplate.

    • bd0007

      Not in Korea, where those 2 far outsell the Stinger

  • Rick Alexander

    Not true. Similar underpinnings, and engine, but tuned differently. The G70 is a smaller car also, therefore it outperforms the Stinger (Stinger with 3.3TT = 4,023lb, G70 with 3.3TT = 3,913lb). A Lamborghini Huracan and an Audi R8 use almost indentical underpinnings, but are in no way the same car.

  • Bill Nguyen

    If they want better sales, just increase the ride height, add some cladding, and BOOM, performance SUV!

  • TK421

    Agreed same experience for me…in fact most of their dealerships don’t know anything about the cars at all.

    I ended up passing and just getting an Audi S4….mainly because the back end of the Stinger is just a mess of a design…the front quarter is great but after that it falls apart. The fake vents need to go, the Dodge lights on the back don’t belong and the rear diffuser/muffles are just terrible looking/after thoughts.

  • PulloGorko102

    No, Kia does make high-end cars if you compare what they make to Mercedes, BMW, Audi, etc. If you consider an Audi A4, A6 and A8 high-end then yes Kia does make high-end vehicles.

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