A MAJOR car manufacturer is discontinuing its most affordable car, after sales slumped.
Kia is dropping its Rio supermini from its line-up in both Europe and Australia.
However, the South Korean company has said the car will still be available in North America and other markets.
Kia has stopped shipments for the EU and UK spec models, which is produced at the Sohari factory in South Korea for export only, according to Autocar.
Once remaining stock has run out, which is likely before the end of this year, the model is expected to formally exit the European markets.
Currently, there is no planned direct successor and anyone wanting a similarly sized Kia will have to go for either the closely related Stonic or the smaller Picanto.
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It’s a similar situation in Australia, with the manufacturer confirming the next-gen Rio won’t be produced in right-hand-drive form.
Australian Kia fans will be left with a choice between the Picanto and the Cerato.
The move has been put down to slow sales of the Rio, compared to its rivals and similarly-sized SUVs.
In Europe, the Kia Rio only sold 32,506 models, compared to sales of 164,119 units of its rival the Vauxhall/Opel Corsa.
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While in Australia, it sold 4,576 units against 16,168 units of the best-selling MG 3.
The fourth generation of the Kia Rio came out in 2016 with the Korean hatch then getting a bit of a facelift in 2020.
It remains to be seen if a fifth-gen version is released and which markets will get it.
The news comes after production of the Ford Fiesta reached the end of the road, after 47 years.
Also coming to an end is the Audi A1, with the current generation being the last of its kind.
Hyundai decided to drop the Accent last July.
Automakers are struggling to keep Europe’s small A- and B-segment models profitable in the era of strict emission regulations.
According to Volkswagen boss Thomas Schafer, the upcoming Euro 7 protocol will add around £4,300 to the production cost of a supermini, making it hard to justify a new generation of vehicles.
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