Kia has parked its pickup plan and hopped on the Soul train.
A pickup was high on the brand's agenda last year, but Len Hunt, COO of Kia Motors America, says it's no longer a priority.
"It is very difficult to establish yourself as a sporty, exciting and enabling company with a pickup," Hunt said.
"That is why the Soul (concept) is more directional" of where Kia wants to go, he said.
The Soul concept, which was introduced at the Detroit auto show in January, "for me is a bigger priority than a pickup," Hunt said.
The Soul, a front-drive, four-cylinder concept, could be described as a mini minivan, or Kia's answer to the Honda Element. There's no B-pillar, and the suicide-style rear doors and folding rear bucket seats create an interior with a lot of versatility.
Hunt said the Soul has the juice to be Kia's first halo car: "a lot of character, a lot of youthful appeal, a bit of sportiness and a bit of ruggedness."