The Paris motor show features Kia’s second fastback model, the Proceed – a dramatically styled five-door shooting-brake version of the Golf-sized front-drive Ceed hatch, which lines up as a more affordable ‘son of’ version of the rear-drive Stinger.
Currently, around one in five Kias sold in the UK is GT or GT-Line trim and at launch the new Proceed will only be available in GT or GT-Line spec. In future, the mix might even rise to one in three.
Neither is as hardcore as Hyundai’s N performance family of cars – developed in part at the Nürburgring, and supporting the firm’s World Rally Championship campaign.
Kia UK boss Paul Philpott, whose 11-year stint at at the company has been matched by steadily rising sales, says Kia won’t move into the same hardcore, handling-inspired direction that Hyundai has, to give the two nameplates distinctive market positions.
“They have gone their way and we are concentrating on the fastback-type cars like the Stinger and Proceed,” he said. “We have the V6-powered Stinger and that’s as hot as we’ll get.”
UK buyers have certainly warmed to the idea of rapid Kia models, with the V6-powered Stinger having taken a much richer mix of sales than originally forecast.
A question for the future is whether Kia should consider hotter models - modelled on Ford’s RS range - to keep the sales momentum going, or whether more fastbacks and shooting brakes will keep Kia’s model range distinct from Hyundai.
What do you think?