SEOUL – Kia will keep the current Sedona minivan for at least another year, even though the Korean auto maker already has redesigned the rest of its model lineup.
A new Sedona is due either for the ’13 model year or calendar-year 2013, Kia Motors America’s Michael Sprague, vice president-marketing, tells Ward’s at a media event here.
There are several reasons for the holdup, he says. Kia’s design staff still is evaluating reaction to the boxy, wildly styled KV7 concept van that debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this year, and the current Sedona that went on sale in early 2006 still is selling well.
“That (minivan) segment obviously is still very competitive, and we’re continuing to communicate (the current Sedona) is still a good value; we’re filling a void,” Sprague says, noting several brands have stopped offering a minivan.
Should Kia decide to build a production version of the KV7 concept, the brand still would offer the same value and functionality minivan buyers have come to expect from the current Sedona, he says.
While the current Sedona is less-costly for buyers than most competing minivans, Sprague says value to Kia does not mean “cheap,” but rather better looks and features at the same or lower price than the competition.
“Value (to consumers) used to be just price and now is ‘What am I actually getting for the money I spend?’” he says. “(A Kia vehicle is) going to be a great design, filled with technology, with safety; have the quality, the warranty – that’s the story we’re going to continue to make.”
While a Sedona replacement is in sight, the next-generation Amanti, Kia’s largest car, is in question.
Sprague says a U.S. version of the Kia Cadenza/K7 large front-wheel-drive sedan, essentially the next-generation Amanti, has no introduction date, at least from KMA’s standpoint.
The Korean parent previously targeted a 2011 launch, but Sprague told Ward’s earlier this year that 2012 was more likely.
However, he now declines to provide a date for the large car’s U.S. launch, as Kia concentrates on gaining a bigger foothold in the midsize-sedan segment with the new Optima.
“(The Cadenza/K7 is) a great car, a great package,” Sprague says. “But we’re continuing to study to determine what would be the appropriate timing in the U.S.”