Kia recently unveiled their third mass market product Carens for India. The Carens is actually a 6 or 7 seater people mover that is based on Kia Seltos. It is what Alcazar is for Hyundai Creta. The manufacturer has now revealed that the Kia Carens will be exported for international markets as well. The Carens was unveiled and the launch is expected to happen some time in the first quarter of 2022. Kia Carens when launched will compete with the likes of Hyundai Alcazar, MG Hector Plus, Tata Safari. The SUV will be exclusively manufactured in India and portion of it will be exported.
Talking to Autocar India, Tae-Jin Park, managing director and CEO, Kia India said, “Twenty percent of the production of Carens from the India plant will be exported.” The Carens will be shipped from India to both right and left hand drive countries. He mentioned that the Carens will only be manufactured in India. Kia’s Manufacturing facility in Anantpur, Andhra Pradesh will be the only facility in the world to produce Carens.
Just like Seltos and Sonet, Carens is also likely to be a successful product in India. The export would only add up to the popularity and bring in more revenue for the brand. Kia has so far been operating in two shifts at its Anantpur plant. The current production capacity of the plant is 3,00,000 units per year. With the production of Carens starting, Kia is planning to utilise the full production capacity of the plant. Tae-Jin Park said, the production capacity at the plant will be increased to three shift from next year onwards.
Talking about the current years production numbers, Hardeep Singh Brar, Vice President and Head of sales and marketing, Kia India said, “We are likely to close the year at around 2,25,000 units for both domestic sales and exports combined. Next year, we plan to do about 3,00,000 units, both domestic and exports put together.”
The ongoing semiconductor shortage has impacted Kia like any other vehicle manufacturer in India and around the world. The shortage of semiconductors is a temporary issue and is expected to ease in the next couple of months. Addition of the third shift would mean that the waiting period on some of the cars would come down.
Kia Carens as mentioned above is based on Seltos. Kia is marketing it as a Recreational Vehicle and not a three row SUV. The exterior gets a different looing grille that extend to meet the LED DRLs. The all LED headlamps are placed right under the DRLs. The front and the rear bumper look muscular and the fog lamps are LED too.
The car gets premium looking interiors with a different looking dashboard than Seltos. There is a 10.25 inch touchscreen infotainment system, ventilated seats, integrated air purifier, automatic climate control, electric sunroof, rear AC vents, fully digital instrument cluster and many more features. Kia will be offering Carens with both petrol and diesel engine options. The petrol version will be powered by a 1.4 litre turbo petrol engine that generates 140 Ps and 242 Nm of torque. This engine will come with a 7-speed DCT and 6-speed manual gearbox. The diesel version uses a 1.5 litre turbocharged engine that generates 115 Ps and 250 Nm of torque. This engine is offered with manual and automatic transmission options.