Executives at Kia have decided to shelve plans for a drop-top version of the cee’d hatch, despite the project already being in an advanced stage. Product planners cite poor profitability and Kia's small market presence as reasons for axing the plans. During a recent visit to Kia’s Namyang Technology Research Center, Autotelegraaf.nl was told that that a c-segment convertible was in the works and would be ready for introduction in roughly two years. The Dutch magazine now reports that the carmaker has stopped development because the costs are simply too high.

A product planner told reporters that because the cee’d is only sold in Europe, the cabrio would also have to be limited to Europe and at the moment Kia simply doesn’t have enough market clout to be demanding higher prices for its vehicles.

Creating a convertible is not simply a matter of lopping off the top. Designers must reconsider the shape of the windshield, folding-roof and its mechanism, and the entire rear end. The internal structure also needs to be strengthened to ensure the vehicle is rigid enough without a roof.

Kia’s new design director Peter Schreyer has also confirmed that there’s no project for a convertible cee’d, and that the Ex_cee'd concept car (pictured) was simply created as a styling exercise for the recent Geneva Motor Show.