Just over a month ago, we reported that Kia may be planning to launch the Sportage crossover in our market.

That news was based on information regarding the approval of a new 2.0L engine that Kia Philippines had applied for prior to the launch of a new vehicle. Given that the Chamber of Automobile Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) is preparing for the Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) next month, it stands to reason that the Sportage will be Kia's headliner for their booth.

Apparently, that may not be the case.

Now we know for sure: we have just learned from one of our contacts that the Ayala-led Kia Philippines will not launch the all-new Sportage at PIMS in September.

While the reasoning behind our earlier article was, uh, reasonable, the Sportage isn't the vehicle because of one important factor: pricing. Yes, the Sportage abroad does have a 2.0L diesel engine with the exact displacement as in the approval, but the pricing of the vehicles with Kia Motor Corporation in South Korea means it won't be competitive in our market.

Kia Sportage Optima image

Our source says that the price that Kia Philippines would have to pay Kia Motor Corporation for the units (in this case FOB, not CIF) is not enough for them to be able to price it competitively in the local market. If you've been observing Kia's pricing in the Philippines, many of their models are getting more and more premium in the SRP department versus other models from other manufacturers.

By our understanding, until Kia Philippines can get a more favorable rate from KMC then the Sportage will be on hold. We've been told that negotiations are still ongoing, but it seems customers waiting for that sharply styled crossover from Kia will have to wait a bit longer.

We have been informed that Kia will launch something else at PIMS and that the vehicle is on the way. Kia Philippines wants to make a statement at the show; as to what that statement will be, we will just have to wait and see. 

I'll venture a guess and bet it's the K5.