Kia Carnival: Kia to open bookings for luxury MPV Carnival next month, Auto News, ET Auto
"This premium MPV will be the first of our global products being introduced to India," said Kia Motors global CEO and President Han-Woo Park, while participating in the grand opening of Kia Motors India's manufacturing facility at Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday.
"The Carnival will continue it's heritage of sophistication and will feature luxurious comfort and design as well as a host of segment-leading new technologies developed with the requirements of Indian customer in mind."
The Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Thursday inaugurated the fully-operational facility of Kia Motors India.
Having already emerged the fourth largest automaker in India with its maiden offering Seltos that saw over 80,000 booking and 40,000 deliveries since August, Kia Motors India is currently operating at two-thirds of its three-lakh units of installed capacity and operating its India facility in two shifts.
The Korean automaker hopes to operate in three shifts to reach 3 lakh units capacity after the launch of 4-5 models by early 2021, said Bhat, adding that they were not affected by the general recession in Indian automobile sectors thanks to offering innovative products based on the customers' requirements.
Setting up largest network of over 260 after-sales service centres and fair pricing of products have also helped win customer's trust, he said, adding that more than 80% localisation has helped price Seltos attractively.
The Kia Motors India facility and it's ancillary units in Andhra Pradesh, built at an investment of around $2.1 billion, has commenced operations in August by rolling out Seltos. Ancillary units from two vendor parks - Sriperambadoor in Tamil Nadu and an adjacent one at Anantapur in AP - are currently meeting the requirements of Kia Motors.
Speaking to visiting journalists at the India manufacturing facility's grand opening on Thursday, Bhat said the plant is fully operational and "we can build theoretically 3 lakh units a year and can build electric vehicles also in case we want to. Right now, we are at 2 lakh units of capacity utilisation."
Bhat said Kia Motors India will roll out it's second vehicle Carnival from January or February. "It's going to be a new segment altogether that we will be creating, which India has not seen before. It will be in luxury MPV segment. It will be bigger than Innova in size. It will be a new segment in terms of features, size, luxury of seating comfort, engine and all the new features inside."
Admitting that the segment below Seltos was quite big, he said the third offering from Kia Motors India could be in sub-compact SUV segment to be rolled out some time around August next.
"Within a month from commencing commercial operations in August, we saw the demand and have immediately ramped up capacities and went in for second shift. We have been quite aggressive and forward looking in all our actions," said Bhat, adding that Kia would like to significantly reduce the waiting period and ideally would target to deliver vehicles off the shelf going forward.
Kia Motors India plans to strengthen its network by adding 50 new touch points and service centres by March next. It also plans to showcase it's next product premium Carnival MPV at the ensuing India Auto Expo.