It doesn’t have the sales volume to compete.
Recently, Kia introduced an all-new Optima, which is known as the K5 in the automaker’s home country and other markets. While we’ve already driven it, European customers may have to wait much longer to enjoy the new sedan. Or they may never enjoy it at all. According to a new report from the Korean Car Blog, the European market won’t receive the new 2020 Kia K5 / Optima anytime soon.
The publication learned of the news through an interview with Kia Motors Europe COO Emilio Herrera. The news comes after Kia UK discontinued the Optima in that market. Herrera told the Korean Car Blog that there are no current plans to launch the new K5 / Optima in Europe. That could change down the road, but the sedan’s arrival in Europe is unlikely considering the popularity of crossovers, SUVs, and trucks around the world.
The new K5 / Optima wears a new design with wild styling, especially for a mainstream sedan. The 2020 Kia has aggressive design lines. At the front, the LED daytime running lights are striking. Hopefully, the new Optima spurs other automakers into playing around more with lighting designs. The sloping roof hints at a liftback, though a trunk remains. At the rear, the new Kia features taillights that span across the entire width of the car.
Through the third quarter of 2019, Kia sold about 10,000 Optimas, far behind mid-size competitors such as the VW Passat (91,000 models sold), Ford Mondeo (31,000), and even the Mazda6 (17,000), according to data from CarSalesBase. For comparison, the Kia Sportage sold 86,000 examples over the same period.
Gallery: 2020 Kia K5 (KDM Spec)
The redesigned Kia K5 / Optima is striking though it is uncertain if it’s enough to reinvigorate sales for the sedan. Sales have steadily fallen in the U.S. since a record sales year in 2015, moving more than 159,000 Optima sedans. Last year, that number dropped to 102,000. This year, Kia should close the year with about 100,000 Optima sedans sold. Expect Kia to watch new Optima sales here before deciding whether to return the model to Europe.