Kia will launch new Carens minivan with sleek design, drop larger Sedona
Kia aims to cover demand for medium and large minivans in Europe with its new-generation Carens.
The Carens medium minivan will replace both the outgoing model and the Sedona large minivan when it goes on sale across Europe next spring.
Kia said the next Sedona, also sold as the Carnival in some markets, will not be offered in Europe because demand for large minivans has fallen sharply. Customers who previously bought large minivans for their space and flexibility can now find those features in large SUV-styled crossovers.
A new seven-seat Sorento SUV to be launched early next year will also help fill the gap left by the Sedona, Kia says.
Kia hopes an attractive design and roomy interior will make the third-generation Carens a tougher competitor to European minivans such as the Renault Scenic, Ford C-Max and Volkswagen Touran.
The company said the new Carens has a lower roofline and longer wheelbase to give the vehicle a sleeker look and spacious functionality.
The Carens will be offered only in a seven-seat configuration, the spokesman said. The model will debut at the Paris auto show on Sept. 27. Kia did not release any details of engines or specifications ahead of the Paris debut.
The Carens will be built in Korea with "no plans" to move production to the company's European factory in Slovakia, the spokesman said.
Kia sold just 315 units of the Carens in Europe in the first five months and 1,888 units last year, according to market researchers JATO Dynamics.
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