Monday, October 2, 2023
News Kia Announces Discontinuation of Rio Subcompact Sedan for 2024 Model Year in...

Kia Announces Discontinuation of Rio Subcompact Sedan for 2024 Model Year in North American Market

Kia’s decision to halt the production of the Rio subcompact sedan aligns with the trend of shrinking demand for small sedans, as larger crossovers gain favor.


  • Kia discontinues production of the Rio subcompact sedan for the 2024 model year in North America.

  • Changing consumer preferences towards larger crossovers and declining demand for small sedans contribute to this decision.

  • The shift reflects a broader industry trend, with light trucks accounting for 79% of new vehicle sales in Q1 & Q2 2023 (USA).


Kia has officially announced the discontinuation of its Rio subcompact sedan for the 2024 model year in the North American market. This decision echoes the actions taken by Hyundai, Nissan, and Mitsubishi, all of which phased out their respective subcompact cars.

While Kia emphasizes its commitment to the sedan segment, a clear shift in consumer preferences towards larger crossovers has significantly impacted the subcompact sedan category.

The automotive market’s tilt towards light trucks, encompassing minivans, crossovers, SUVs, and pickups, is evident. In the first half of 2023, these light trucks constituted an impressive 79 percent of all new vehicle sales in the United States. This stands in stark contrast to traditional sedans, which are grappling with a decline in demand.

2020 Kia Rio

This shift in consumer preferences is vividly seen in the sales trajectory of smaller cars like the Kia Rio. Experiencing a 14-percent decline in 2022, the Rio’s sales tally stood at a modest 26,996 units by year-end. Similarly, sales have dipped by 2 percent in the initial seven months of 2023, underscoring the challenges faced by the subcompact sedan category.

The Rio’s discontinuation aligns with Kia’s production strategy, as the brand embraces a comprehensive shift towards an all-electric fleet. As the smallest model in Kia’s lineup, the Rio was manufactured at the Monterrey factory in Mexico. However, Kia is taking proactive measures to align with the changing automotive landscape by extensively revamping the plant for electrification purposes. The company is currently in the process of finalizing plans to launch two compact electric vehicles in the imminent future.

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Contrastingly, the Forte compact sedan, also manufactured in Mexico, has witnessed a relatively better market performance. With an 18-percent surge in sales since January, the Forte has managed to move 73,065 units in the initial seven months of the year.

2020 Kia Rio

Kia’s announcement of discontinuing the Rio for the 2024 model year mirrors a broader industry trend favoring more spacious and versatile vehicles. While the Rio’s exit might disappoint sedan enthusiasts, Kia’s strategic pivot towards shifting consumer preferences and the electrification drive underscores the company’s determination to remain competitive within an ever-evolving automotive landscape.

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