“The reaction has been phenomenal to (the Stinger),” Orth Hedrick, Kia North America product planner, told AutoGuide. “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.” He added that it was still early in the product’s lifecycle and that the brand will wait to amass more data from consumers before building out the Stinger lineup.
“We’re going to be very aggressive for the lifecycle of this vehicle,” Hedrick added, “we’re going to be very aggressive with the colors. It’s a fashion statement. You have to keep the car going with powertrain variants and other stuff coming down the road.”
Through March, Kia has sold 3,920 Stingers in the U.S., including 1,555 in March alone and not including the 843 it sold in late 2017. That’s a fraction of the 50,645 vehicles Kia sold overall during the month, and it puts Kia on pace to sell nearly 16,000 for the full year.
It’s hard to independently assess whether that should be seen as a successful mark for a performance sedan that starts at $32,795 for the standard 255-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, much lower than many of the German competitors it’s established as benchmarks. Hendrick last year told Wards the Stinger was intended to increase both sales and brand recognition and was aimed squarely at auto enthusiasts. Its U.S. sales are slightly above those of the Alfa Romeo Giulia, which has sold 3,085 through March (this Stinger owners forum thread also offers some interesting guesstimates). And as long as Kia is pleased …
Anyway, if Kia wants to release variants, we’re totally cool with that. It’s already announced the limited-edition Atlantica, and we’re down with more colors and maybe a manual transmission. And while they’re at it, why not borrow the 5.0-liter V8 from the Korean version of the K900?