Kia is joining Ford, GM, and Hyundai by abandoning the minivan segment—but only temporarily as the Korean automaker works on replacement for the Sedona minivan. The automaker says the market is expected to grow 25 percent by 2016.
Although the Kia Sedona offers lots of standard features at a low base price, its sales continue to be overshadowed by the more popular offerings like the Honda Odyssey and Dodge Grand Caravan. Last year, Kia sold 24,047 Sedona minivans compared to 94,320 Chrysler Town & Countrys, 110,862 Dodge Grand Caravans, and 107,068 Honda Odyssey vans.
While Hyundai once sold in the U.S. a mechanical twin to the Kia Sedona, Hyundai spokesman Miles Johnson tells us the automaker doesn’t have any current plans for a replacement for the discontinued Entourage minivan. Even so, Hyundai is watching the segment: “Never say never as far as the minivan segment,” Johnson adds.
UPDATE: Kia spokesman James Hope tells us the following:
"The minivan segment has been and will continue to be important to Kia. Although there will not be a 2013 model year Sedona, our plans call for the current generation vehicle to be available at dealerships through 2012, with production scheduled to resume in 2013."
Until a Kia or Hyundai minivan return, three-row vehicle buyers can try the 2013 Kia Sorento and 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. If a Kia minivan returns, likely for the 2014 or 2015 model year, should its styling be inspired by the Kia KV7 concept minivan shown at the 2011 Detroit auto show or should it be styled more conservatively?
Source: Kia, Hyundai, Automotive News (Subscription required)