Culling sedans from the lineup makes sense as buyers shift toward SUVs, even if those sedans happen to be very good.
The Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5 and Kia Stinger are all excellent sedans. However, excellent sedans are still fighting the tide as buyers move en masse toward crossovers, and it appears that the bell will soon toll for all the aforementioned models.
Hyundai Motor Group is set to discontinue the K5, Sonata and Stinger as they reach the end of their respective lifecycles, Automotive News reports, citing internal sources and a Korean publication. A report in the Chosun Ilbo claims that Hyundai will not develop a new generation of Sonata. The Kia K5 shares a platform with the Sonata, so it stands to reason that model will suffer the same fate. Both are relatively new, while the Stinger has been kicking around the US since the 2018 model year.
“Sonata remains and will continue to be an important part of Hyundai’s product lineup,” wrote a Hyundai spokesperson in a statement emailed to CNET Cars. “Any rumors on its future are pure speculation.” A representative for Kia did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but a Kia spokesperson delivered a similarly worded response to Automotive News.
While sedans were once the bread and butter of driveways across America, times have changed. Crossovers have taken hold, and sedan sales have slowly dropped. For example, the Sonata sold in excess of 200,000 units per year up until 2016, when it began dropping, and the last three years have not eclipsed the 100,000-unit mark. Since its inception, the Stinger has hovered around 13,000 units sold per year, but the Stinger is an odd exception, as Kia built it in part to increase brand awareness.
Hyundai and Kia would hardly be the first automakers to cull sedans from their lineup. Domestic automakers have all but eliminated their remaining sedans over the last several years, with some notable exceptions like the Dodge Charger. Things are a little different with foreign automakers, where nameplates like the Honda Civic and Toyota Camry have absolutely dominated the automotive landscape for decades, but it appears the flood of demand for crossovers shows no signs of slowing.