It's a sign of the times. The D-segment sedan is seeing less and less market share with each passing year, as consumers look more to crossovers and SUVs once they go past a particular price point, or abandon cars altogether in favour of e-hailing and the like. According to GoAuto, Kia Motors Australia is bucking to the trend as they've announced the phasing out of the Optima for the Australian market, in favour of the aforementioned SUVs and Electric Vehicles (EVs) as well.
That's not the only culling of the Kia range that's going on. The petrol version of the Kia Soul will be phased out in favour of an electric variant, while consumer preference for the V6 GT variant of the Stinger may mean the phasing out of four cylinder availability. The more premium Stinger in combination with the growing Cerato is what has led to the demise of the Optima, which has only managed to sell 54 units in the past two months.
Rounding out the changes will be the introduction of a small SUV, which will be Kia's version of the Hyundai Kona. This will be a fairly important model for the brand as it is this segment that is growing so rapidly and contributing solid sales as consumers are departing from traditional sedans and hatchbacks further down the tiers of car ownership.