Despite a nearly 30-year run, the Hyundai Sonata will not live past 2028, according to reports out of Korea. This news swirls in conjunction with rumors that Kia will also end production of the related K5 midsize sedan, as well as the rear-wheel-drive Stinger due to its not-so-great sales in the U.S. When asked about all three vehicles, U.S.-based spokespersons for Kia and Hyundai didn’t confirm much.
All of this sedan doom and gloom somewhat makes sense, as Hyundai Motor Group—parent company of Hyundai, Genesis and Kia—is pivoting towards an all electric future. In Asan, Korea, the plant that builds the Hyundai Sonata, along with the Grandeur sedan that was sold in the U.S. as the Azera, was shut down and retooled in January to build electrics like the upcoming Ioniq 6 EV. Stateside, the Sonata plant in Montgomery, Alabama will also undergo upgrades for EV production, making the story from Chosun Ilbo—a leading newspaper and media company in Korea—plausible. However, speaking to Automotive News, a spokesperson for Hyundai stated that the Sonata “remains and will continue to remain an important part of Hyundai’s product lineup.”
In addition to the Sonata, it appears that Kia might also axe the Stinger and the K5. “I will be shocked if the K5 doesn’t follow the same fate as the Sonata,” said Jesse Toprak of Autonomy, when asked by Automotive News. The K5, which was once known as the Optima, shares the same vehicle architecture as the Sonata. The Stinger, meanwhile, is slated to stop production after this quarter and be effectively replaced by the EV6 GT-Line, the high performance version of the EV6 electric vehicle. It should be noted that the Stinger did see a 10 percent uptick in sales through April of 2022. When we reached out to Kia on the K5 and Stinger, a spokesperson gave us a line similar to Hyundai: “The K5 and Stinger remain important components in Kia’s award-winning lineup of vehicles.”
With Hyundai Motor Group’s goal to sell 3 million EVs by 2030, some vehicles will invariably start seeing the chopping block. With midsize car sales taking a huge slump (annual sales of midsize cars has dropped to less than 1 million units across the industry), they’re natural candidates for retirement and replacement by electric vehicles. If they’re indeed doomed, the Hyundai and Kia models would join the Ford Fusion, Mazda 6, Volkswagen Passat, and Buick Regal and others in the great midsize sedan pasture in the sky.
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