Kia Sets Stinger Price in Korea; U.S., Europe Launches to Come

Kia begins sales of its new Stinger sports sedan in Korea, with pricing set to undercut the German imports.

Shipments to the U.S. and Europe will begin in the fourth quarter, with export to other markets expected in 2018.

The flashy high-performance model went on sale in Korea May 23, following a public launch at the Grand Intercontinental Parnas hotel in the wealthy suburbs of southern Seoul. Pricing undercuts such rivals as the BMW 4-Series coupe and Audi A5 Sportback.

“The Stinger is priced to appeal to buyers on (both) a rational and emotional level,” a Kia spokesman tells WardsAuto. “We want the car to be attainable.”

The Stinger stickers at 35 million won ($31,000) for the 2.0L gas turbo model, rising to 37.8 million ($33,500) for the 2.0L Platinum trim version. Models equipped with a 3.3L twin-turbo V-6 starting at 44.6 million won ($39,600) for the basic Masters edition and 48.8 million ($43,300) for the GT.

The 2.2L turbodiesel model begins at 37.2 million won ($33,000) and tops out at 40.3 million won ($35,800) in Platinum trim.

The pricing is set at roughly 10,000 won to 20,000 won ($8,900 to $17,800) less than the Stinger’s German competitors.

Most analysts believe the Stinger is positioned to do well. The Kia spokesman says the company already had 2,000 pre-orders in hand prior to official pricing, of which 40% were for the top-of-the-line 3.3L twin-turbo version.

The sales target for entire 2017 is set at 8,000 units.

Analysts note that in planning to sell about 200 Stinger models weekly this year, Kia will have enough of the sporty sedans on Korean streets to attract public notice, but not so many the car will lose its exclusivity.

“We believe the Stinger can become an important brand-building product that will help drive new customers to Kia showrooms and continue to help enhance the brand,” the spokesman notes. “We expect that the Stinger will be displayed in all major Korean city showrooms by early next month.”

In Korea, the Stinger is being marketed wearing the “E” luxury-car badge. It does not have Kia badging.

The E brand is being used in Korea to classify all of Kia’s rear-drive near-luxury vehicles.

Analysts see the badging strategy as a move to put the Stinger in a category of its own and disassociate it from the mass-market Kia brand.

Kia notes that the E classification applies only to vehicles marketed within Korea. The special branding strategy for its rear-drive near-luxury vehicles was announced by Kia at the Seoul Motor Show in March.

Source: Wards Auto