This was announced at the Naza Kia Malaysia Chinese New Year open house held at the Kia Red Cube showroom here today.
Representing Kia's halo car, the Stinger is a high-performance fastback that aims to shake up the market that's typically dominated by European makes.
It's effectively a "gran turismo" that's due to go on sale in markets worldwide this year. Kia said it was designed in Frankfurt and honed in Nurburgring in Germany.
The Stinger made its world debut at the Detroit auto show last month and won the EyesOnDesign Award for best production car for its mix of sporty muscular appearance, performance and luxury.
Kia chief design officer Peter Schreyer had said: “We’ve made a lot of great cars and I’m proud of all of them, but the Stinger is something special.”
The Stinger is available with an 8-speed automatic gearbox in a choice of 2.0-litre or 3.3-litre V6 turbocharged powerplants that produces 255hp/350Nm and 365hp/510Nm respectively.
While the fourth-generation Rio and Optima will be locally assembled, the third-generation Grand Carnival will be a fully imported model.
According to Naza Kia Malaysia product planning head Muhamad Shahrul Farhan, all 50 units in the first batch of the RM181,888 Grand Carnival had already been pre-sold and the distributor is awaiting a new shipment of 40 units from South Korea. Naza Kia hopes to launch the 2.2-litre diesel Grand Carnival in March or April. Meanwhile, the new Optima is slated for a Q2 launch while the Rio is set to appear in showrooms in the second half of the year.
Muhamad Shahrul said Naza Kia would be interested in selling the new Rio sedan if Kia decides to introduce it.
CarSifu's Rizal Johan was in Australia late last month for a drive of the Rio hatchback, Kia's global bestseller. We will have the drive details soon. Suffice to say at this point that the 1.4-litre petrol hatch with a 4-speed automatic is a decent city car with an emphasis on fuel efficiency and design.
Commenting on brand strategy, Muhamad Shahrul said Kia aspires to go upmarket. To help achieve its transition from being a "value-for-money" to a premium brand, he said Naza Kia Malaysia is continuing to introduce high-value cars in the country. The present average per car value now stands at RM130,000 when compared to RM80,000 to RM90,000 previously.
Naza Corp Holdings Sdn Bhd group chief operating officer (automotive group) Datuk Samson Anand George said that apart from the 2017 launches, this year would be a challenging time and the company would focus efforts on "housekeeping and operational efficiency" . Naza Kia Malaysia also expects to expand its dealer network with five more 3S outlets.