Kia Carens drives past 150,000 sales in India in 27 months

Introduced in February 2022, the spacious and versatile MPV with a usable third row of seats turns out to be a key growth driver for Kia in India. With 151,501 units sold till end-April 2024, the Carens accounts for 26% of the company’s wholesales since its launch 27 months ago.

By Ajit Dalvi calendar 26 May 2024 Views icon10992 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Kia Carens drives past 150,000 sales in India in 27 months

A month and a half after Kia India expanded the Carens line-up from 23 variants to 30 with the launch of a refreshed model and added a new diesel-manual powertrain, the MPV has clocked cumulative wholesales of over 150,000 units in India and maintains its status as the new growth driver for the Korean carmaker. The versatile MPV with a usable third row of seats has taken 27 months to achieve the latest sales milestone. While the 100,000 sales mark came up in 16 months, the additional 50,000 units have taken 11 months.

Launched on February 15, 2022, the Carens, which is a three-row derivative of the Kia Seltos midsize SUV, had till end-April 2024 recorded sales of 151,501 units (see sales data table below). This translates into the Carens accounting for 26% of Kia India’s cumulative sales of 575,574 units from February 2022 through to April 2024. That’s not all – an additional 18,779 units have also been exported till end-April 2024.

The Carens with 151,501 units accounts for 26% of Kia India’s cumulative sales of 575,574 units from February 2022 through to end-April 2024

UPDATE: June 3, 2024: In an official release on June 3, 2024, Kia India confirmed Autocar Professional’s Carens sales analysis of May 26, 2024. Myung-sik Sohn, Chief Sales and Business Officer, Kia India, said: “Carens has become a favourite among Indian families, offering them style and peace of mind on every journey. It now accounts for approximately 15% of our monthly domestic sales, and we are confident that its popularity will only grow in the coming years.”

According to the company, 50% of Carens buyers prefer the top and mid trims of this popular family mover, which has features like sunroof, multi-drive modes, ventilated seats and Kia Connect. Among the various options, the petrol powertrain has emerged as the top choice, accounting for 57% of demand, followed by the diesel powertrain with 43%. Additionally, the manual transmission continues to be highly preferred, with 62% of customers opting for it. Recently in April 2024, the company re-launched the 6-seater variant of Carens which has received a good response.

Kia India, which recently achieved the 250,000 exports milestone after starting operations in August 2019, has exported 17,295 Carens which has a 7% share of total exports to date.

Carens contributes to 16% of Kia India's sales
The second MPV which Kia launched in India after the Carnival (which sold a total of 14,542 units before being withdrawn from the market), the Carens with 151,501 units has contributed to 16% of Kia India’s total cumulative sales of over 950,000 units since August 2019.

Clearly, it's a very creditable performance given that there are two well-established rivals – the Maruti Ertiga and the Toyota Innova Crysta (and more recently the Innova Hycross) – in the ultra-competitive Indian marketplace.

In FY2024, the Carens sold 63,167 units to be India's third best-selling MPV.

In FY2023, the Carens sold 70,314 units and accounted for 26% of Kia India’s total sales of 269,229 units last fiscal, which was the carmaker’s best 12-month performance since its market entry in August 2019. In FY2024, the popular MPV sold 63,167 units, 10% fewer than in FY2023, but maintained its share of Kia India’s sales at 26 percent.

This gave it the No. 3 rank amongst MPVs in India, after the Maruti Ertiga and the Toyota Innova Crysta/Hycross and the 17th rank among the Top 20 utility vehicles in India in FY2024. As is known, FY2024 saw the India UV Inc achieve record sales of over 2.42 million sales in a market which comprises 30 OEMs with 100 models and all of 800 variants and counting.

Meanwhile, the Carens has opened FY2025 with 5,328 units of the Carens in April 2024, down 13% YoY (April 2023: 6,107 units) dispatched to showrooms across the country.

The Carens, which has been crash tested under Global NCAP’s new protocols in April 2024 and received a three-star rating, has had two recalls till now. The first recall was in October 2022 to check for an error in the airbag control unit software of 44,174 units, and the second on June 26, 2023 to inspect and update the software for a likely issue with the digital instrument cluster on 30,297 units.

Carens as a growth driver for Kia
Kia’s strategic move to introduce an MPV in the Indian market has paid off. Proof of the model’s success came in the first few days of bookings opening on January 14, 2022 – 7,738 bookings in the first 24 hours. By March 10, bookings had crossed the 50,000-unit mark, compelling Kia India to start the third shift at its Anantapur plant to meet demand for its new model, as well as for the mainstream Seltos midsize SUV and Sonet compact SUV.

The Carens was launched in five variants with multiple powertrain (a 115hp, 1.5L petrol, 1.4L turbo-petrol, 1.5L diesel) and transmission options. The company successfully positioned the Carens as a premium six- / seven-seater recreational vehicle with a blend of modern styling and features, and offered with six airbags as standard. Fuel efficiency is claimed at up to 16.5kpl for the petrol Carens and 21.5kpl for the diesel variants.

Now available in as many as 30 variants priced from Rs 10.51 lakh (1.5L petrol, manual) through to Rs 19.66 lakh (1.5L turbo-petrol X-Line 7-seater, ex-showroom), the high on space and comfort Carens is targeted at large families scouting for a premium, spacious cabin as well as day-to-day practicality, and a choice of multiple powertrains.

While it is more MPV than SUV, the feature-laden and spacious Kia Carens has not only taken on the existing competition in the MPV market but seems to have also drawn buyers from the SUV segment. And there’s an electric Carens in the offing too. Kia, which has outlined a target of selling 1.6 million EVs annually by 2030, has plans to build 15 new EVs including the Carens EV for India.

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Kia’s made-in-India SUV and MPV exports cross 250,000 units

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