Farewell to the Roar: Kia Stinger Bids Adieu to Australian Roads

Farewell to the Roar: Kia Stinger Bids Adieu to Australian Roads banner

As the holiday season approaches, there is a bittersweet air in the automotive world, especially for enthusiasts who reveled in the power and performance of the Kia Stinger. The countdown has begun, and before Christmas arrives, the final dozen Kia Stingers left in stock in Australia are set to find their new homes, marking the end of an era for a car that once promised to redefine the family sedan landscape.

A Stinger's Tale: The Right Car at the Wrong Time

The Kia Stinger, once envisioned to be a formidable contender against the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore, faced an unexpected turn of events. Despite its prowess and appeal, the Stinger found itself in a market that had shifted preferences towards SUVs, leaving the grandeur of rear-wheel-drive sedans in the shadows. Damien Meredith, CEO of Kia Australia, reflects on the Stinger's journey, stating, "It's been very good for the brand. It gave us bite in the marketplace where we never had any before with our products."

The Stinger's story becomes a poignant example of the right car arriving at the wrong time. Originally designed to fill the void left by local car manufacturing, the Stinger encountered a landscape dominated by the growing popularity of SUVs. Yet, it managed to make its mark, providing a powerful rear-wheel-drive family car that resonated with driving enthusiasts.

A Lasting Impression: Stinger's Success Down Under

The final sales tally for the Kia Stinger in Australia stands at 11,455 cars since its introduction in October 2017. The year 2022 marked the pinnacle of the Stinger's success with 2242 sales. Mr. Meredith acknowledges the Stinger's impact on the Australian market, describing it as a success for a couple of reasons. "It gave us volume," he explains. "Australians had the heritage for that type of car. It was more favorable for us. We also got additional volume in the later part of its run."

The 3.3-litre V6 turbo GT emerged as the star of the Stinger lineup, capturing 95 percent of sales during its lifetime. Notably, it also found favor with police departments across the country, with approximately 325 units sold for various roles, including Highway Patrol, undercover operations, and recruitment.

Global Challenges and Shifting Focus

While the Stinger carved a niche for itself in Australia, global demand and strategic challenges ultimately sealed its fate. The absence of a Hyundai-branded counterpart and the shift in Kia's global focus towards electrification posed additional hurdles. "Globally, the Kia brand has moved into electrification. It's like anything, when you're making decisions about forward strategy you have to make a call on investment," Mr. Meredith explains. "The investment is going into electric."

A Landmark Legacy: Stinger's Impact on Kia

As the curtain falls on the Kia Stinger's journey, Mr. Meredith emphasizes its significance as a landmark car for Kia. "It was a performance vehicle all the way through. It was a great car for us," he states. "It's important to say goodbye. We forget that sometimes specific cars accelerate the performance of a brand in Australia. I'm very sure that Stinger did that for the Kia brand."

As the last few Stingers embark on their final journeys, they leave behind a legacy of power, style, and a roaring presence on Australian roads—a legacy that will be remembered by enthusiasts and industry observers alike.

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