Kia to launch Carnival MPV in 2020


ANANTAPURAMU (AP), Dec 5: Betting big on the

country’s high potential for cars, the current downtrend

notwithstanding, South Korean major Kia would launch a luxury

multipurpose vehicle (MPV) early next year, which the company

claims will be the first-of-its-kind on Indian roads.

“In January-February we will come out with a new model

Carnival, a luxury MPV, the big car.

That segment is not available in India so far and we are

going to establish it,” Kia Motors India Vice-President

(Sales) Manohar Bhat said here on Thursday.

Talking to PTI on the sidelines of the inauguration of

Kia’s first Indian manufacturing facility at Erramanchi

village in Anantapuramu district, Bhat said Carnival would be

a “wider,bigger car than any other” in the Indian market.

“It will be a 6-8 seater and have the best features in

terms of comfort and size, which any other luxury car may not

have,” he noted.

“Customer tastes are changing and accordingly we will

bring out our vehicles. Our plan is to launch a new model

every six months,” Bhat added.

The Anantapuramu plant has a three lakh car production


“But we are now operating in only two shifts. Effectively

we are using only two-thirds of our capacity. So every six

months we will come out with a new model,” the Kia official


The vice-president said Kia would make some announcement

in the upcoming auto expo on (launching) a car in the Rs 8-10

lakh segment.

He, however, ruled out launching a car in the Rs 5-7 lakh


“We don’t have a hatchback in our portfolio, so we will

look into it,” he added.

Seltos, the first SUV to roll out from Kia’s India plant

in August this year, has 75,000 bookings so far, which market

analysts saw as a runaway hit.

“We are very happy with the customer response and also

happy with the product (Seltos) we have delivered,” Bhat


Asked about exports from the Indian facility, he said

their top priority was India.

“Our primary focus is on the domestic market. We will

also export, but we are testing the waters right now,” he


“In India, you have 32 cars per 1000 people; in China it

is about 130. US and Europe it’s about 800-900 per thousand.

That way the potential is very high. Headroom is high (in

India),” Bhat pointed out.

On the prevailing downturn in the Indian automobile

market, the Kia official noted there was “definitely a de-

growth happening.”

“Overall demand has fallen by 12 -13 per cent. This is a

downturn, because customer’s buying intention has decreased.

That’s because the overall economic situation is not as

good as it was 2-3 years earlier,” he said.

The overall economic growth was also not good.

“When the growth happens, the demand will also increase,”

he added.

“By the beginning of the next financial year, we should

hopefully see some improvement as the government has taken

certain steps to boost the economy,” Bhat said.

Observing that Kia currently has 260 sales and service

points across the country, the largest for any new entrant in

the market, the vice-president said they would expand the

network to fill the gaps in northeastern states, north

Telangana, parts of Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and other states.

“We want to be closer to the customer. We are being very

ambitious,” Bhat summed up. (PTI)