Kia has admitted that the Stinger is not doing as well as hoped, casting doubts on whether there will be a sequel to the Korean carmaker’s rear-wheel drive halo car.

Speaking to CarAdvice at the IAA show in Frankfurt, Gregory Guillaume, VP and senior chief designer at Kia’s design studio in Germany said that they had higher hopes in North America compared to other markets. “At the moment I’m not sure it’s doing as good as we hoped. We never really expected to do massive volumes,” he said.

“It was a halo car. We did want to be successful at least in America, the market where we thought there is a chance that it works. We had very high expectations for that market and it’s very difficult to start in such segments,” added Guillaume, who hopes that Kia gives the Stinger another chance because it takes time to get established in a new segment.

“The beginning of my career was at Audi. I remember… it took three generations of the A8 to be seen on eye level to a (BMW) 7 Series or (Mercedes-Benz) S-Class. You have to persevere. If you’re entering these segments (whether) it’s premium or image vehicles, you have to give yourself a bit of time.

“The company will have to be ready to understand that. I think we should continue (even though) the sedan market is getting more and more difficult worldwide,” the designer said, adding that the car’s looks and drive isn’t the problem, but the positioning of the halo model and its price.

Guillaume has personal connection with the Stinger, as it was his team and studio that brought it to life. “Stinger is a European design. From beginning to end the concept was from us, the idea of making such a car was from us, and we followed it all the way through. It’s really our baby and the one we’re most proud of,” he declared. The Stinger started life as the GT Concept from Frankfurt 2011.

On whether there will be a next generation Stinger, Guillaume told the Aussie outlet: “We have to see if Stinger continues – first of all if it will be continuing, which I really hope so – and if we think this is the format to continue in the future.” Will it be an EV? “As you know there’s a lot going on with electrification, so it could be that Stinger becomes something else. I don’t know. We’re not there yet. We’ve got a bit of time,” he added.

The Kia Stinger was launched in Malaysia in July 2018, with the 2.0 T-GDI GT-Line priced at RM239,888 and the 365 hp/510 Nm 3.3L V6 GT going for RM309,888. Earlier this year, Naza Kia announced new SST-inclusive prices that went up by quite a bit – at RM264,888, the 2.0T is RM25,000 up from the launch price, while the RM383,888 V6 is RM74,000 costlier. Making a left field choice comes at a high price indeed.

GALLERY: Kia Stinger 2.0 GT-Line

GALLERY: Kia Stinger GT