Kia Australia’s Senior Product Manager, Jeff Shafer, has hinted that a new wagon version of the flagship Optima range is about to join the carmaker's line-up.
While stopping short of confirming a production schedule, Mr Shafer told TMR this week that fans of the recent Sportspace concept can “read between the lines”.
Reports of an Optima wagon have been circulating for many months, and the unveiling of the Sportspace ahead of next month's Geneva Motor Show has only served to fan the flames.
Still, an Optima wagon would not necessarily be an automatic starter for Australia, with wagon sales slowly giving way to the hugely popular SUV segment over the past decade.
“With wagons in particular, in Australia, we certainly need to look very closely at the market,” Mr Shafer said.
“This hasn’t been a strong wagon market [of late], as SUVs are certainly the dominant trend."
"But, having said that, the reaction to Sportspace in terms of everybody has been great - I think on The Motor Report in particular there have been some great comments. And I probably share those views, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
Aside from potentially previewing a new Optima wagon, the Sportspace also gives us our first look at styling cues that may feature with the Optima sedan.
The recently-updated Picanto city car is also a possibility for a local berth, with Kia Australia’s Chief Operating Officer, Damien Meredith, an avowed fan of the pint-sized hatch.
“We haven’t made any secret that it’s a product we want to introduce,” Mr Shafer said.
“We don’t have any confirmed plans at the moment but we are certainly exploring that with [head office in] Korea, I know Damien personally has a very strong interest in the car, so we’re definitely looking at it.”
Stay tuned to TMR for more news from the Geneva Motor Show.
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