Kia may be preparing to launch a new version of its funky Soul hatchback. Reuters reports that a Korean Kia executive announced at an investor's meeting in Seoul that a new Soul would go on sale next year.
A Kia spokesman in the U.S. told us he could neither confirm nor deny the report of a new Soul. We wouldn't be surprised to see a new version, given that the current model is almost four years old. A new Soul might adopt the so-called "tiger" front grille that has made an appearance on new Kia models like the Rio and Optima.
Kia engineers are apparently quite busy: the company also is working on preparing a new version of the Forte sedan and a new Rondo people-mover, and soon will launch the Quoris flagship sedan.
The current Kia Soul (pictured) was revealed at the 2008 Los Angeles auto show, and went on sale in spring 2009. Despite its funky looks -- and the fact that Kia was at that time still working to establish its reputation in the U.S. -- the box-on-wheels quickly became a hot seller. In its first year on sale, Americans snapped up 31,621 Souls. In 2010 sales jumped to 67,100, then rose again to 102,267 last year. Through the first half of 2012, the Soul is Kia's second-hottest vehicle in the U.S., with 63,635 units sold so far putting the model on track for record sales this year.
Reuters also claims Kia was hoping to reach a new target of 450,000 global sales next year. That figure must be a mistake, as the company handily eclipsed that sales number already: last year Kia sold 485,492 cars in the U.S. and a total of 1.58 million worldwide.
Sources: Reuters, Kia