Currently reading: Kia pulls plug on Optima in UK with no replacement coming
Kia UK will wind down sales of saloon and estate imminently, while Stinger range is set to be slimmed down to just the V6
2 mins read
17 October 2019

Kia UK will make significant changes to its large car line-up, with the Optima due to be axed imminently. The Stinger will also soon be reduced to one engine as part of model year updates.

Although the Optima, which has been available only in Sportswagon estate form for some time, is still live on the firm’s configurator, a Kia UK spokesperson told Autocar that it would be winding down sales of the car and relying on existing dealer stock to fulfil any further orders.

Autocar also understands that the next-generation Optima, due to be unveiled next year, won’t be coming to the UK. Kia cites the investment required to ensure engines meet strict European emissions standards as not justifiable for a car that achieves such small sales numbers. Kia registered just over 14,000 Optimas across Europe in 2018 - less than 10% of the number of Passats that Volkswagen shifted that year.

Changes are afoot for the Stinger range, too. Kia UK has confirmed that plans to reduce it down to one engine will be brought in for 2020 model year revisions, due to be announced in the coming weeks. The turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and diesel variants will be dropped, with only the flagship turbocharged 3.3-litre V6 of the GT S remaining.

It's reported that executives have been disappointed by the Stinger’s sales impact globally since it was introduced last year. Just 3820 examples of the D-segment five-door coupé were registered across Europe in 2018.

A number of mainstream car makers have been rethinking their D-segment saloon, estate and MPV line-ups as SUVs increasingly poach sales from those bodystyles. Ford, for example, is believed to be replacing the Mondeo, S-Max and Galaxy with a single crossover-style estate model in the coming years. Ford is currently selling less than half the number of Mondeos it sold in 2009 and barely a fifth of the number it sold in 2002.



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Kia Optima

The Kia Optima has looks, practicality and value on its side. But in a class of talented models, it is an also-ran.

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17 October 2019

Saying we'll pull out of every market that our car can't sell in in viable numbers is more a  reflection of a poor product (or product marketing) rather than a limited market. I don't see Audi pulling the A4 because the market is shrinking.

Insignia used to be in the top 10, then they bought out an even better version but sales started dropping, why, because PSA stopped backing it

17 October 2019
I think it's also the premium thing, for some reason only premium badged saloon and estates seem to sell well, even the Mondeo is a slow seller and it has always been highly rated, unless it's a vag badged car or a premium badge they don't seem to sell. Lack of engine range probably hasn't helped either though with the Optima.

17 October 2019

The Optima has always been a good looking car, but one that focused on fleet sales only, as they were all diesel (until the hybrid arrived). There was no desirable petrol option for the non CoCAr driver to want. The public clearly like Kia and its 7 year warranty, as they buy large numbers of the smaller cars, but no petrol means no sales these days out side the Company car park.

As for the Stinger, its a great looking car, a little too expensive, and auto only which stopped me ever considering it. Keeping the V6 is the correct model to have, but they could do with dropping the price a little if they want a few more sales.

17 October 2019
The Optima has been available with a decent 2.0l petrol for a while.

17 October 2019

Seems like they designed saloons and then SUVs happened, once they get an SUV model they should be OK.

19 October 2019

'It's reported that executives have been disappointed by the Stinger’s sales impact globally since it was introduced last year.


Well maybe if they hadn't try to flood the market with every possible niche of SUV/Crossover possible, and diverted a bit more attention and/or marketing to the Stinger (and Optima) instead, they wouldn't have been so disappointed with the sales then. Only themselves to blame here, which is a real shame, as I think both are very good looking cars and worthy of a bit more attention in their particular markets.

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