Kia believes that with the new Carens, it will be able to lead the medium minivan segment and break the dominance of European automakers. Kia is confident that the Carens will appeal to buyers from competing brands since the minivan has a sleek appearance, a spacious interior, and useful storage features.
Kia executives said that the low profile of the Carens isn’t characteristic for its segment. During a press launch, Benny Oeyen, Kia Europe's head of marketing and product planning, said that the Carens is not a boxy minivan and that it can rival any minivan on the road when it comes to versatility and practicality.
Oeven said that it also has a better appearance. JATO Dynamics said that as customers made the switch to SUV-styled crossovers, medium minivan sales in Europe declined by 8% to 712,000 units in 2012. Meanwhile, the five best-selling models (which were all produced by European automakers) experienced double-digit decreases.
JATO said that last year, Kia sold only 620 units of the Carens in Europe. However, Kia expects worldwide medium minivan sales to increase during the next three years. Oeyen said that while Kia realizes that the European automakers are dominating this segment, it is confident about being able to break their leadership.