Kia Australia has had to delay the introduction of missing features in its popular Carnival people mover again, citing a hefty log of backorders to clear through before making any changes to specification.
A company spokesperson confirmed with CarExpert the previous indication of MY23 production (August-October) is now unable to be met, with the Korean brand now targeting sometime next year to add features like automatic wipers, a digital instrument cluster and the Blind Spot View Monitor camera system to select variants.
These features have been promised since the current generation Carnival launched in 2020, as part of a rolling update, though high demand and supply constraints up until recently, meant Kia Australia had to clear out months worth of backorders before making adjustments to standard specification, which would likely be met with price rises.
Kia’s local arm has also had issues with sourcing petrol V6 versions of its top-selling MPV, with the brand and its dealer network attempting to push customers in the queue into diesel models.
“We are experiencing supply issues with Carnival V6 petrol, and don’t see any improvements for the remainder of the year,” a Kia Australia spokesperson told CarExpert.
“In contrast, supply of the diesel Carnival will continue to be strong for the foreseeable future. We are working with our dealers to convert customers who are in the queue for a V6 Carnival, and effectively co-funding an incentive to entice them to switch.
CarExpert understands high demand for V6 petrol Carnivals in North America and the Middle East is to blame for the short supply of petrols for Australia.
While supply restricted and missing features, the Kia Carnival has continued as Australia’s favourite people mover, and even set an all-time monthly sales record in June (1101 units).
To the end of September, the Carnival has recorded 6096 registrations, a 31.5 per cent improvement on the January-September period in 2021.
Across its line-up, Kia’s local division is hoping 2022 will see it set an all-time yearly sales record despite ongoing challenges with component shortages and supply constraints, expecting to sell a record 72,000 vehicles this year – up from 67,964 last year.
Such is the rate of growth in Australia that Kia has overtaken its Hyundai parent in sales so far this year, as well as taken record market share . This year could mark the first time Kia outsells Hyundai in the Australian market, and its first outright podium finish for the calendar year.