UPDATE, 20 July 2021: Kia has responded to yesterday's rumours of the 2022 Kia Stinger's early demise, telling CarAdvice the vehicle is here to stay for now, but did not elaborate when it may go out of production.
"As a company policy, we do not share future production plans this far in advance. Further information will be disclosed in due course."
Our original story appears below.
19 July 2021: Production of the Kia Stinger performance sedan could end ahead of schedule in late 2022, according to new reports, making space on the assembly line for a hybrid version of the brand's Carnival people mover.
Korean publication DailyCar reports Kia has advised suppliers of its Sohari Plant in South Korea that production of the Stinger will end in the second half of 2022 – following slow sales compared to its twin under the skin, the Genesis G70 – to free up space for a hybrid Carnival people mover, due in the first half of 2022.
The rumoured second-half 2022 end-of-production date would come one or two years earlier than initially expected, given the Stinger's global launch occurred in 2017, and the circa seven-year life cycle of Hyundai and Kia vehicles.
"We [will] continue to provide the [Kia Stinger] in the Australian market for the next coming years," Kia CEO Ho-Sung Song told Australian media in April 2021.
While popular with performance-car enthusiasts in Australia – some of which moved from home-grown Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon performance sedans – the Stinger has also been used as a highway patrol vehicle in Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Tasmania.
Rumours of the Stinger's demise means those jurisdictions – and any others considering the vehicle – will need to begin a search for a replacement.
Industry rumours and comment from Kia executives strongly indicate the current-generation Stinger won't receive a successor, as despite sales surpassing expectations in Australia, the vehicle hasn't been received as strongly in other markets.
"At the moment I’m not sure it’s doing as good as we hoped. We never really expected to do massive volumes, 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," Gregory Guillaume, then-senior chief designer at Kia's German design studio, told Australian media at the 2019 Frankfurt motor show.
Above: US-spec 2022 Kia Stinger.
"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. 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," he continued.
Kia Australia has been contacted for comment on the Korean reports – this story will be updated with its response.
A total of 6979 Kia Stinger vehicles have been sold in Australia since its local launch in September 2017 – averaging out to around 150 per month.
967 vehicles have been reported as sold year-to-date in 2021 – making it Australia's fourth best-selling mid-size or large passenger car, behind the Toyota Camry, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.