Automaker Kia India on Tuesday launched its fourth product -- the all-new three-row model Carens -- in the domestic market, with an introductory price ranging between Rs 8.99 lakh and Rs 16.99 lakh (ex-showroom).
The model featuring six and seven seating options, which the company refers to as a recreational vehicle (RV), competes with the likes of Maruti Suzuki XL6, Hyundai Alcazar, Mahindra XUV700 and Tata Motors Safari.
Kia India already sells Seltos, Sonet, and Carnival in the domestic market.
The Kia Carens comes powered by a 1.5 petrol, 1.4-litre petrol, and 1.5 diesel powertrains mated with three transmissions - 6MT, 7DCT, or 6AT.
The petrol versions of the model have been priced between Rs 8.99 lakh and Rs 16.99 lakh, while the diesel trims are tagged between Rs 10.99 lakh and Rs 16.99 lakh. The company claims a fuel efficiency of 16.5 km per litre on the petrol variants and 21.3 km per litre with diesel trims.
"Since inception, we have remained focused on adding value to Indian customers' driving experiences through our ground-breaking vehicles and services. The Carens is a true Kia, offering best in class features, immaculate design and practicality, a wide range of variant choices at a compelling price point. The pricing offers us an opportunity to cater to an even more diverse set of our customers,'' Kia India MD and CEO Tae-Jin Park stated during the online launch event.
He further said, ''We are confident also that our customers will have a wonderful ownership experience of the Carens, which incurs maintenance cost starting from as low as 37 paisa per kilometre.''
The company plans to enhance its production to meet this increased demand, Park stated.
In an interaction with PTI, Kia India Head (Sales and Marketing) Hardeep Singh Brar said, the company is looking to initiate a third shift at its Andhra Pradesh-based facility to reduce the waiting period of Carens and other models.
The automaker has already received over 19,089 bookings for Carens so far, after initiating bookings last month.
"We are looking to initiate the third shift at the plant from March," he noted.
He noted that with Carens, the company is looking at creating a new segment. "We want to cut across segments... Our price starts from Rs 9 lakh... So, we compete with all the cars with six and seven-seater options," Brar said.
He noted that with supply-side challenges easing a bit, the company is looking to produce over three lakh cars in 2022.
The automaker ended 2021 with about 2,25,000 units, including domestic and exports.
Brar said that the company has already started exporting Carens and the overseas shipments are expected to go up gradually over the course of the year.
The Carens comes equipped with flexible seating options, and features such as the sliding type seat undertray, retractable seat back table, the rear door spot lamp, and the bottle and gadget holder in the third row.
Besides various convenience elements, the model comes with 66 connected features.
Safety features include six airbags as standard across all trims, electronic stability control (ESC), vehicle stability management (VSM), hill-assist control (HAC), downhill brake control (DBC), and all-wheel disc brakes.