The Kia Carnival has stamped itself as Australia’s favourite people mover, continuing the strong sales of its predecessor – and it’s become a victim of its own success.
Kia Australia’s product boss, Roland Rivero, told CarExpert the long-promised equipment updates including rain-sensing wipers and digital instrument cluster on higher grades, won’t become available until the brand can work through a year’s worth of backorders.
“We have every desire to implement COVID-19 affected features on Carnival, however are still suffering from severe supply restrictions, and as a result have accumulated a very large quantity of backorders. Some of these backorders are over 12 months old,” Mr Rivero said.
“Kia Australia is working closely with the factory to clear these backorders as quickly as possible. Once our backorder count reaches a more palatable level, we will be looking to enhance the range with the features promised at launch.”
Since the current Carnival arrived at the end of 2020, high-spec versions have been missing a few features available in other markets including automatic wipers, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and Kia’s Blind Spot View Monitor camera system – all of which can be had on the related Kia Sorento GT-Line.
Kia Australia has promised it’s working to bring those features amidst production constraints, component shortages and supply chain issues. CarExpert reported six months ago that after initially being earmarked as an MY22 running change, customers would likely have to wait until the first half of 2022.
The only updates since its introduction so far is the rollout of Kia’s new logo. CarExpert understands vehicle specifications cannot be changed after an order has been placed, which would explain why the brand hasn’t just rolled out the features as it delivers vehicles throughout the course of the year.
It’s clearly not stopping customers from walking into showrooms. With 12 months of backorders and 60.6 per cent yearly growth in 2021 to 5862 units, the Carnival commands a 57.1 per cent share of the mainstream people mover market. It outsold the Honda Odyssey by more than 5-to-1.
That yearly figure betters not only the Kia Sorento (5126 units), but also the Hyundai Santa Fe (5048 units) and Palisade (3720 units). Australian buyers haven’t given up on people movers after all…
Despite ongoing supply issues and component shortages across the industry, the Carnival has also started 2022 on a high (while the industry was down for the month), posting 12.0 per cent growth in January to 495 units.
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