Kia Carens races past 100,000 sales in India in 16 months
Launched in February 2022, the spacious and versatile MPV with a usable third row of seats turns out to be a growth driver for Kia in India.
The Kia Carens MPV has clocked cumulative sales of over 100,000 units in India and has turned out to be the new growth driver for the Korean carmaker. The versatile MPV with a usable third row of seats has taken a scant 16 months to achieve the sales milestone.
Launched on February 15, 2022, the Carens, which is a three-row derivative of the Kia Seltos midsize SUV, had till end-May 2023 recorded sales of 95,480 units, just 4,520 shy of the 100,000-units milestone (see sales data table below). An additional 9,565 units have also been exported till end-May 2023.
Given the Carens’ five-month January-May 2023 cumulative sales of 32,724 units and a resultant monthly sales average of 6,544 units – or a daily sale of 218 units – sale of the remaining 4,520 units would have been achieved in the first three weeks of June 2023.
The second MPV which Kia launched in India after the Carnival (which sold a total of 14,542 units before being withdrawn from the market a few months ago), the Carens with 95,480 units in 16 months has contributed to 13% of Kia India’s total cumulative sales of 738,588 units since August 2019. Clearly, a very creditable performance given that there are two well-established rivals – the Toyota Innova and the Maruti Ertiga – in the competitive Indian market.
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. The Carens’ FY2023 performance saw it ranked 11th among India’s Top 30 UVs – this in a fiscal which saw the India UV Inc achieve record sales of over 2 million sales in a market which comprises 30 OEMs with 100 models and all of 766 variants and counting.
The Carens, which received a three-star rating in the Global NCAP test in June 2022, 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: making a difference
Proof of the model’s potential success in the Indian market 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 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 21 variants priced from Rs 899,000 (1.5L petrol, manual) through to Rs 16.99 lakh (1.4L turbo-petrol Luxury Plus DCT 7-seat), 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 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.
ALSO READ: 2022 Kia Carens review, test drive
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