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Commodore, Falcon owners showing ‘restrained interest’ in Kia Stinger

By Barry Park, 20 Sep 2017 News

Commodore, Falcon owners showing ‘restrained interest’ in Kia Stinger

It’s more about people jumping out of Euro brands than buyers keen to replace locally made metal, early sales data shows

KIA has given a hint at the type of buyers who are lining up to jump behind the wheel of its new rear-drive Stinger sports sedan – and they’re not all disaffected Falcon and Commodore owners.

Instead, about two in every three buyers pre-ordering the car are stepping out of Euro brands, according to Kia Motor Car Australia chief operating officer Damien Meredith.

“We didn’t set out to position the vehicle against the Europeans,” Meredith said when asked where conquest buyers were coming from. “We positioned the vehicle to fill that void that was left by local manufacturers, and we thought that was the best way to go in regards to making sure Stinger … made a stronger impact on the Australian market,” he said.

“We do know some [of the brands buyers are coming out of], but we don’t know the whole lot.”

According to Meredith, there were “a lot of Euros” in the early inquiries about the Stinger. “There’s quite a few Benzes, which surprised us, not too many BMWs, quite a few Audis; but you do get Ford and Holdens,” he said.

“In the initial orders that we saw, there were not as many [inquiries from Ford and Holden owners] as we expected, but I think that will grow over time.”

Meredith said inquiries about the Stinger were split evenly between Euro owners, those jumping from Ford and Holden, and current Kia owners stepping up to the sports-honed sedan.

However, just getting one may be a problem for some buyers, with demand in Korea – Australia is the first market outside Kia’s homeland to add the sedan to its showroom – severely capping the number of cars that can land here over the first year on sale.

Imports will be capped to about 200 a month as the car launches into other international markets, with initial orders weighted three-to-one in favour of the 272kW V6 version.

The Stinger officially goes on sale on October 1.