Kia Unlikely To Build Soul Variants

March 5th, 2010

Back at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show Kia rolled out an odd shaped pickup concept based on its then-new compact Soul. The move was intended as a means to drum excitement for the regular Kia Soul hatchback went on sale the same year, but the concept, called the Soul’ster, but never intended for production, received such strong positive reaction that started Kia to think differently.

Unfortunately, Kia is unlikely that such a car, or other variants of the Soul to launch, despite the hatchback model embedding strong sales. In fact, sales of the Soul hatchback to June were up 156.3 percent over the same period last year, more than double the average of competitors like the Nissan Cube and Scion xB.

The fear, according to the automaker the director of product planning, Orth Hedrick, that any new variants of the Soul would rather cannibalize sales of the hatchback than attracting new customers.

“(The soul) tend to be a niche vehicle,” Hedrick said during an interview with Ward’s Auto. “There is very high appeal to a very limited group of buyers.”

Development of a vehicle as the Soul’ster would also show to be very expensive due to de structural differences in weight and which should be designed to be open-top design needs. For Kia, the business case is simply not there.

Related posts:

  1. Contest: Kia Sets The Hamsters Aside, Wants To See How You Roll
  2. Smart Car Shopping: Great Car Deals This Week
  3. Kia Sportage: Top Residual Value Could Sweeten The Deal
  4. Chrysler Future Heavily Tied With Italian Brand Lancia
  5. Kia Sportage Priced Higher; Turbo Coming Under…$30K?

Leave a Reply

  • Tags