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Kia‘s Rondo small minivan and Borrego SUV have been dumped from the U.S. lineup, ostensibly after slow sales forced Kia to cease importation.
Although originally reported by Automotive News, Kia declined to comment on the matter. The Borrego was never a strong seller in the U.S., although the large SUV, along with the Rondo small minivan will continue being sold in Canada and other markets. The Rondo is successful north of the border, and with the arrival of the Ford C-Max and Chevrolet Orlando (also exclusive to Canada), the car’s future looks pretty solid in that market.
Kia appears to have quietly killed-off its Rondo MPV in response to a continued slide in sales. Visitors to the Rondo page on Kia’s U.S. website are greeted with the news, “Thank you for inquiring about the Rondo. As the saying goes, ‘all good things must come to an end’ But with endings, come new beginnings…” Below that message is an image of the new 2011 Kia Sportage, directing customers that that page where they can check out the stylish new compact crossover.
The Rondo’s demise was stumbled upon by the team at Autoblog, who then contacted Kia and received this response. “Kia has not yet decided on a 2011 model, but the 2010 is still available in dealerships.”
Kia managed to move just 14,206 Rondos last year, a 50 percent drop from 2008 when the company sold 28,645 units. The Rondo would seem to be the latest casualty in the Kia lineup with the Korean automaker recently dropping the Borego full size SUV.
This move also looks to be a part of a larger product switch from Kia away from old models and old designs towards fresh and exciting new products. Unfortunately for those few looking at a Rondo, the Sportage simply doesn’t offer the same utility.
Of note, Kia Canada isn’t following suit with any message on its website, suggesting the Rondo will continue on there. This isn’t surprising as sales of MPVs like the Rondo and Mazda5 are strong in Canada.
[Source: Kia via AutoBlog]
Volkswagen‘s compact Touran Minivan (not to be confused with the Routan sold here in North America) has just been launched in its newest incarnation, and the range is being led by a 1.6L BlueMotion diesel that makes 105 horsepower returns a very impressive 51.3 miles per gallon. Also interesting is the tiny 1.2L 4-cylinder gas engine that puts out a respectable 102 horsepower thanks to Volkswagen’s direct injection system, and a small supercharger attached to the engine.
The Touran is based on the Golf, making it a bit small for North American tastes, but perfect for Europe and Asia, where high fuel prices and tight spaces mean that a car like a Dodge Caravan is totally unsuitable, and a smaller footprint is required (Honda even sells a completely different Odyssey in other markets for this reason). If the Ford Focus C-Max is a hit in North America, the Touran might make it over to our shores, but with Chevrolet recently killing the Orlando for the United States (but not Canada), don’t count on it.
Hit the jump to read the press release
Gallery: Volkswagen Touran
[Source: The Truth About Cars]