SEOUL, April 11 — The Kia Ceed has undergone something of a transformation this year: As well as seeing a new-generation launched in five-door hatchback and Sportswagon estate versions it also saw that apostrophe dropped from the name.
Now the South Korean manufacturer is looking to add extra sportiness into the Ceed family with a shooting brake version later this year, and a new Ceed-based crossover in the middle of 2019. As the sporty Proceed is no more, these two are seen as indirect replacements for that three-door variant.
Despite being a very good-looking car, Kia's European sales and marketing boss Artur Martins confirmed to Autocar at lasr lonth's Geneva Motor Show that the Proceed was dropped due to low demand.
Although he admitted the company was “skipping the three-door as the segment is really small,” Martins also confirmed that “it opens up an opportunity for an additional body type.”
That new body type now appears the be the shooting brake, which was previewed in concept form last year and will be the most aggressively styled version of the nameplate to date.
In terms of its design, the crossover body style is expected to be more closely aligned with the existing models and could look much like a taller version of the current estate.
Obviously a Ceed crossover could step on the toes of the brand's existing SUV models, but Kia's European design boss Gregory Guillaume insists “there is plenty of room between the Stonic and the Sportage for a new crossover.”
Dismissing the possibility that a new high-riding Ceed model could steal sales from its siblings could be seen as optimistic, but in the current market it doesn't seem that the car-buying public or the market is reaching saturation point with SUVs anytime soon.
One step the company appears to be taking to avoid stealing sales from its own models is to streamline the current Sportage range by getting rid of the trim levels that don't sell in big numbers.
Also, it's believed the next Sportage that's likely to arrive in 2021 or 2022 is going to grow in size a little to further differentiate it from a new Ceed crossover. — AFP-Relaxnews