Kia’s Stinger burst onto the automotive landscape in what seems like the rear-drive sedan’s twilight years, enlivening the lower end of the market with its pleasing profile, available twin-turbo V6, and palate of eye-catching colors. It’s one of those colors — Sunset Yellow — that’s causing headaches for the automaker.
Apparently, the Stinger might decide to shed that paint one day.
As reported by Australia’s Car Advice, the vibrant shade is providing Kia with anything but sunny days. There’s now a global stop-sale order on Stingers dressed up in Big Bird’s preferred ensemble, as an oil residue mixed in with the paint isn’t lending itself to proper adhesion.
In other words, chips, cracking, and flaking are all things to look forward to if you’re the owner of a yellow Stinger. The automaker has offered to respray all affected vehicles under warranty. Thankfully for Kia, Sunset Yellow only appeared on a limited edition GT variant, so the price tag for Operation Topcoat won’t be as consequential as if it were a more popular shade. Just 400 of these Stingers were allocated to the U.S. market.
We should probably use this opportunity to take the Stinger’s sales temperature. The first Stingers trickled onto (and off) U.S. dealer lots last November and reached a monthly high in May, when 1,761 of the rear- or all-wheel-drive Koreans found American suitors. June saw 1,579 sales, bringing the year-to-date total to 8,638 vehicles.
On a YTD basis, these figures make the Stinger — something of a niche vehicle in today’s market, but one with five-passenger, liftback utility — the third worst-selling vehicle in Kia’s stable, though its sales are more than double that of the front-drive Cadenza, which pulled in 3,301 buyers in 2018. Don’t get us started about the K900.
Put another way, the Stinger’s TYD sales are a tad more than that of the Lexus LS and GS, combined.
In Canada, a country with a population one-tenth that of the U.S., sales are almost exactly one-tenth of America’s tally. Over the first six months of 2018, some 876 Stingers invaded driveways in the Great White North.
[Image: Miami Lakes Kia/YouTube, Kia Motors]