Kia Clavis Trademark Hints at Another Global Sub-Compact Vehicle

Kia is said to be developing another crossover for its range in India and other global markets. The latest one will be a sub-compact measuring less than 4 meters and will be known as the Clavis.

The speculations originally appeared earlier this month, when Kia trademarked the name ‘Clavis’ for the Indian market. Although the trademark filing on December 12 does not describe the proposed model’s body type, local media reports indicate it would be an SUV. According to unnamed Indian sources, the Kia Clavis will have a boxy and sturdy look, albeit there are contradictory opinions about its market positioning.

Autocar India believes that the Kia Clavis will bridge the gap between the recently facelifted Sonet and Seltos. Other sources, including the Financial Express, suggest that the Kia Clavis will be a sibling to the Hyundai Exter. While most publications are suggesting the Clavis would be an SUV, CarSpiritPK believes the model will likely be an MPV, perhaps in a 5+2 seating configuration.

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Why do we think so? Well, because Ho-Sung Song, the company’s global CEO, revealed their strategic naming conventions at an international media conference in South Korea, earlier this year. He said:

“At the brand re-launch in 2021, we set up our strategy for the naming structure of our models. For passenger cars, we’ll use the K family names – K3, K4, K5 – mainly for internal combustion-engined [petrol] models. For SUVs and MPVs we use the [full-name] product naming structure, usually using the ‘S’ for SUVs (Seltos, Sonet, Sportage, Sorento) and ‘C’ initials for MPVs  (Carnival, Carens). For dedicated [electric vehicles], we use our EV naming system (such as EV6, EV9).”

So according to Hyundai’s naming conventions, an SUV might not have its name starting with C, instead it will most probably be a small MPV. However given the speculations regarding its sub-4-meter dimensions, an MPV this small can be challenging. Another theory is that every Hyundai model usually has a Kia sibling sharing the same architecture & powertrain. For example, Hyundai Venue & Kia Sonet, Hyundai Creta & Kia Seltos, and Hyundai Alcaraz & Kia Carens, etc, whereas the Hyundai Exter which is indeed a sub-4-meter offering, is yet to get a Kia sibling.

Related: Hyundai Exter Wins the 2024 Indian Car of the Year Award

At this stage, we can only hypothesize about the design and specifications of the Kia Clavis in the absence of official confirmation or spy images. In any case, given the growing demand for small and sub-compact crossovers in many parts of the world, the new model is likely to be marketed in emerging markets outside of India.

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