Kia is open to producing different model variants of the Stinger sedan, so long as sales and interest in the performance four-door remain strong.
Speaking to AutoGuide at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, Kia North America product planner Orth Hedrick said the company is open to producing different model variants of the Stinger. He didn’t go into detail on what the Korean automaker may be considering for the car, but a performance version, special editions, or maybe even a version with some more premium content aren’t outside of the realm of possibility.
“We’re looking at it (different Stinger variants),” Hedrick said. “The reaction has been phenomenal to (the Stinger). We’re doing great, we have a very high mix of buyers, a lot coming from Optima, so we’re looking to see if we can grow that. And I think there might be other opportunities down the road. It’s a little early yet, we just got the car on the market, and we still have a handful of dealers who have never sold one yet. We’ll probably wait for a while to get some data in and see what the reaction will be, how people feel about the brand, and then we’ll probably build (the Stinger lineup) out from there.”
Hedrick said Kia will be updating and adding things to the Stinger lineup frequently, trying to keep it fresh and keep consumers interested. As he explains it, the Stinger is a “want” vehicle, not a “need” vehicle, so you have to do things that make people want it.
“We’re going to be very aggressive for the lifecycle of this vehicle, we’re going to be very aggressive with the colors,” he said. “It’s a fashion statement. You have to keep the car going with powertrain variants and other stuff coming down the road. I think this is something that we have to keep fresh. It’s a ‘want’ car, so it will be like ‘what’s new, what do you guys have that’s new?’”
Some readers may remember that Kia showed the Stinger in an eye-catching shade of yellow shortly after its launch. That color was part of a promotional effort for dealerships, but after getting such a positive reaction, Hedrick is looking at making the yellow a production run color. That will hopefully be one in a few crazy colors the Stinger is eventually offered in, although Kia is apprehensive to go overboard with the Skittle-inspired exterior shades.
“We used (the yellow) for a sales promotion for the dealers and it took off. They disappeared immediately, and then we were like ‘whoa!’ So we’re working with the plant and the suppliers to see if we can make this like a production run. I think it’s a limited market. We don’t want to overdo it.”
Discuss this story on our Kia Stinger Forum.