Since former Audi designer Peter Schreyer was appointed chief design officer in 2006, the company has transformed its image from a budget Korean manufacturer to a world-class marque with trend setting designs. With cars like the Optima, Cerato, Sportage and Sorento gaining huge worldwide momentum over the past few years, the time is approaching for a Grand Carnival replacement.
The problem remains, how do you make a people mover look good? CarAdvice spoke with Peter Schreyer in Geneva last week about the future of the Grand Carnival and whether or not SUVs have replaced people movers (MPVs) for the masses.
"I think there is a shift that way, definitely [but] I think there is still a demand for cars like [Grand Carnival]" he said.
Schreyer was quick to point out that the next-generation Kia Grand Carnival will not be a people mover that is bought just out of necessity. "I want to get away from that atmosphere that you only buy MPVs if you have to. I want to do them in a way that it's cool to have one. I think that it can be cool."
The German born designer, who helped design the original Audi TT as well as well as the Volkswagen New Beetle and numerous Audis (previous generation A3, A4 and A6) is confident that the new Grand Carnival will be an attractive vehicle.
He said the Kia KV7 Concept (revealed at last year's Detroit motor show and pictured here) gives hints as to what the next-generation Grand Carnival will look like.
“KV7 concept was an attractive example for a car like [Grand Carnival]. I think a real production car still needs refinement and KV7 was very compact so we need to see, because a Grand Carnival needs to be considerably longer. That kind of design could still fit that kind of car - the concept showed that you can make an attractive van” Schreyer said.
We suspect the next-generation Kia Grand Carnival will arrive in 2013, given the current model has been on sale since 2006.