Hyundai and Kia have introduced a number of convertible concepts over the years but the companies haven't offered a production drop top since the Lotus-based Kia Elan went out of production in the late 1990's. While it would be easy to chalk this up to declining consumer interest, one company insider says the reason is much simpler. Speaking to Motoring, the source said air pollution from China makes convertible a hard sell in South Korea.

Hyundai and Kia have introduced a number of convertible concepts over the years but the companies haven't offered a production drop top since the Lotus-based Kia Elan went out of production in the late 1990's.

While it would be easy to chalk this up to declining consumer interest, one company insider says the reason is much simpler.  Speaking to Motoring, the source said air pollution from China makes convertible a hard sell in South Korea. 

Despite being approximately 125 miles away from the country, “Most people in Seoul prefer to drive with the windows up and the air-conditioning selected on recirculate" to avoid the pollution.  The insider went on to say the air quality is so bad people wouldn't even want to lower the roof on certain days.

Hyundai and Kia are both global brands and the insider acknowledged the company could offer a convertible for export markets.  However, this doesn't seem to be a priority and the informant said they were not aware of any plans to build a convertible.

A Genesis Coupe based convertible would certainly raise a few eyebrows but the insider suggests any potential Hyundai or Kia convertible would likely be similar to the Volkswagen Golf Cabrio as the German brand is pretty popular in South Korea at the moment.

Source: Motoring

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Chinese air pollution to blame for the lack of Hyundai & Kia convertibles?