Kia Motors America has discontinued sales in the U.S. of its Rondo compact van and Borrego full-sized SUV for the 2011 model year, a Kia spokesman confirmed. However, he declined to give further details. These two models continue to be sold overseas and in Canada as 2011 models.
Kia posted a 19% increase in U.S. sales in 2010 compared with 2009. But Borrego and Rondo sales have dropped in 2010. Only 9,835 Borregos were sold last year, a 7% drop from 2009. Meanwhile, Rondo sales fell 75% to 3,588 units.
These vehicles compete in two segments in transition. The industry is moving away from truck-based SUVs such as the Borrego and is shifting towards car-based crossovers that have improved fuel efficiency.
However, the Rondo's small minivan segment is seeing new entries from carmakers who want to offer more fuel-efficient alternatives to traditional minivans.
Ed Kim, director of industry analysis at AutoPacific Inc., described the Rondo as a product that’s “getting very, very long in the tooth.”
He said that this older product has an older level of execution and it isn’t able to compete with the new models being offered in the market. [via autonews - sub. required]