As you must have already guessed by the innovative television ads, Kia Motors, one the second largest carmakers of South-Korea is bucking up to enter India in 2020. The first product of the part-Hyundai owned company in India will be the SP Concept that the company first presented at the 2018 edition of Indian Auto Expo. Kia has already revealed a plan to launch one SUV and a premium hatchback, and their next car for the Indian market will be the Grand Carnival MPV that will lock horns with Toyota Innova Crysta in India.
Spotted a lot of times during testing on Indian roads, the launch of Grand Carnival has now by confirmed by a top official of the brand. Sun Wook Hwang, the senior GM of the PR and marketing department of Kia’s Indian division, confirmed the launch of the MPV in Indian market. Apart from a lot of other models of their line-up the South Korean brand had also displayed the Grand Carnival at the Auto Expo last year. The research by the brand has led it to believe that their new MPV has a demand in India. Grand Carnival is already sold in the global market and when compared to the Japanese Toyota Innova Crysta, the Korean MPV is quite bigger in size. Grand Carnival MPV is 5.11 meters long, 1.98 meters wide, and 1.75 meters high. Kia sells its Grand Carnival MPV in the global markets in multiple configurations that include 7-seater, 8-seater, 9-seater and 11-seater versions. However, plan the MPV is likely to be offered only in the 7-seater avatar in the Indian market as the brand might focus on the comfort aspect of the MPV here.
Toyota Innova has been a smash hit in India and has average monthly sales of nearly 7,000, but the South Korean brand has set a modest 1,000 units per month target as of now. The Japanese marker offers Innova Crysta in India in 3 engine configurations that include a 2.4-litre (diesel), 2.8-litre (diesel), and a 2.7-litre (petrol). Kia will launch the Grand Carnival with only one diesel engine option in the Indian market. Grand Carnival will come equipped with a 2.2L turbocharged diesel engine in India rated to deliver an output of 199 Bhp and 441 Nm. The engine will be mated to a 6-speed auto transmission.
Toyota Innova Crysta (2.8-litre diesel) is priced at Rs. 19.68 lakhs, Kia may bring in the Grand Carnival at around a premium of Rs. 2-3 lakh. With the Grand Carnival, Kia will go the premium route on the interior front and one can expect to see features such as a panoramic sunroof, leather seats and USB ports etc. on the car.
Although the South Korean brand has talked about opening a big factory in India, there is no news whether the Grand Carnival will be manufactured here or imported as a CKD kit. The latter option can push the prices of the new MPV by a large margin, thereby taking away the VFM factor that Toyota Innova Crysta banks on. There is also a possibility that Kia angles the car for private buyers only and distinguishes it from the Toyota Innova Crysta as the latter is a pretty common sight in the commercial market.