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Kia Exec Hoses Down Sports-Car Reports As Brand Focuses On Growth Photo:
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2014 Kia GT4 Stinger - Detroit Photo:
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Mike Stevens | May, 13 2014 | 1 Comment

Kia has wowed showgoers with the likes of its GT4 Stinger and Provo concepts, but new reports suggest we won’t see anything like that in showrooms. At least, not anytime soon.

Sports models in the current Kia range include the Cerato Koup and the Pro_Cee’d GT hatch, but both are seen as ‘warm’ offerings that can’t quite match the performance of players like the Golf GTI or Ford’s Focus ST.

And while the company’s powerful and impressively styled concepts have raised hopes of a hot new performer, marketing boss Lee Soon-nam has told reporters that the brand has other priorities.

“The volume will be smaller and then we can’t enhance the brand image fully. We would like to build our brand image to some level. Then we can maximize the effects of the new car launch,” Lee told industry paper Automotive News.

He said that the company must focus first on improvement and growth in volume-selling segments, building stronger brand recognition before a true performance car can be successful.

“From a marketing point, a new car launch should be helpful to enhancing the brand image. If a Chinese brand introduced a roadster, would it affect customer perception? I don't think so,” Lee said.

“Even though we are doing very well in the global market, many customers do not know Kia yet.”

Kia also revealed its big GT four-door coupe in 2013, a concept that design boss Peter Schreyer has openly spoken of with hopes for a production future.

With four-door coupes proving popular, we could see a version of the GT enter production before Kia moves onto a model that can properly take on the performance market.

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