Dinamikjaya Motors, the new distributor for Kia vehicles in Malaysia and subsidiary of Bermaz Auto, is expected to launch the locally-assembled (CKD) all-new Kia Carnival sometime in early 2022, according to an investors’ newsletter by RHB Investment.
The timeline is more or less consistent with Bermaz Auto’s reply to questions from the press regarding the commencement of locally assembled Kia models at the company’s jointly-owned (with Sime Darby Motors) Inokom plant in Kulim.
Earlier in April, Bermaz Auto said there will be no new model launches from Dinamikjaya Motors this year as the company’s focus is to stabilize the after-sales network inherited from Naza Kia Malaysia.
The company also added that it takes between 12 to 18 months to setup a CKD project, meaning that the earliest CKD Kia model won’t be launched in Malaysia until 2022.
Three models have been confirmed - the Kia Carnival, Kia Seltos, and a third undisclosed model.
Dinamikjaya Motors will be responsible for sales, after-sales, and marketing of Kia vehicles in Malaysia while the newly formed Kia Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (KMSB), a joint venture between Bermaz Auto and Kia Motors Corporation, will be responsible for assembling the Kia vehicles in Kulim.
Bermaz Auto owns 33.3 percent of the KMSB joint venture manufacturing company, with the rest owned by Kia.
For a start, the Kia vehicles will be assembled at the same facility within the Inokom campus used by Hyundai (CKD models now limited to only the Santa Fe).
Kia has mentioned that the Kulim plant will be Kia’s regional manufacturing hub, meaning that exports are planned. The plant is the company’s first joint venture plant in Asia outside of China.
RHB Investment adds that Dinamikjaya Motors has set a modest sales target of 2,000 units of Kia models in 2022.
The 8-/11-seater Kia Carnival is powered by a 2.2-litre VGT turbodiesel (compatible with B7 biodiesel, but note that Thai standards for biodiesel differs from Malaysia) that makes 202 PS and 440 Nm, driving the front wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Don’t expect the Kia Carnival to be cheap though. This new generation model is positioned as a more affordable alternative to the Toyota Alphard, or a better alternative to a recond Vellfire.
In Thailand, prices of the Korea-made Kia Carnival starts from 2.144 million Baht for the entry EX variant but the full specs SXL variant costs 2.459 million Baht.
For reference, the most expensive Toyota Camry Hybrid Premium variant sells for 1.809 million Baht there.
That puts the imported Kia Carnival above of the most expensive executive/premium tourist van specs Toyota Majesty Grande (2.199 million Baht), but well below a luxury MPV like the 2.5-litre Toyota Vellfire (3.838 million Baht).
So even as a CKD model, don’t expect the CKD Kia Carnival to sell here for less than RM 200,000.
In Malaysia, the previous generation Kia Grand Carnival was last sold at between RM 155,148 and RM 183,766, with SST discount.