Kia has had some nice success with the new Soul compact car, but remains unsure if it wants to venture into offering additional variants of the model. While sales of the Soul through June were up an outstanding 156.3 percent from a year ago, outpacing competitors including the Scion xB and the Nissan Cube, officials are unsure if additional derivatives of the model would make sense.
“The Soul tends to be a niche vehicle,” Orth Hedrick, director-product planning, told Ward”s at a media event. “There is very high appeal to a very narrow group of buyers.”
Kia has previously hinted at a convertible variant of the Soul with the Soul’ster concept, which made its debut at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Hedrick says that in order to approve a vehicles like the Soul’ster, you have to have a broader appeal to justify production. Why? Since the Soul’ster is a convertible, it would almost be an all-new vehicle.
“The business case is really what we have to keep studying all the time,” Hedrick says. He said doing Soul variants would be challenge in the current economic environment.
Kia Soul’ster Concept:
– By: Omar Rana