Minivans have been in a long, slow decline for years. Now, Kia thinks it may have a solution for the terminally unhip segment.
The Korean automaker is teasing a new version of its minivan, the Sedona, ahead of this month's New York Auto Show. Though Kia has grown dramatically in the U.S. over the past decade, its minivan offering never really became a big hit with consumers. Kia's current family focused vehicle was introduced 2006, withdrawn from American dealerships at the end of 2012, then reintroduced again a year ago. The teaser shows a more contemporary design, including the brand's signature tabbed grille.
Minivans once helped make Chrysler the most profitable automaker, but the fad didn't last. Sales that once regularly commanded 8% of the market up to the year 2000 have been sliding for over a decade to about 4% in 2013. Truth is, the vehicle type has always been regarded as purchase of necessity, not aspiration. Kia hasn't revealed much more about its "all-new midsize multi-purpose vehicle" besides the teaser photo, saying only that it "will challenge the segment and will offer the functionality to transport as many as eight passengers and their belongings while also serving as a purposeful offering for adventure seekers."