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Has Toyota's Granvia failed? Brand says slow-selling Kia Carnival rival feeling brunt of SUV popularity - so will Sienna replace it?

The Granvia hasn't sold strongly since its release in 2019.

Toyota Australia senior executives have defended their Granvia people mover’s sales performance despite its Kia Carnival rival outselling it at a rate of 20:1, but the Sienna could be their secret weapon.

Based on the new-generation Toyota HiAce commercial van, the Granvia arrived in Australia in 2019 to take over people-mover duties from the discontinued but much-loved, family favourite Tarago.

The Granvia, however, has not been able to capture the hearts and cash of Australians in the way the Tarago did, leaving the open the door for its long-running rival, the Kia Carnival, to dominate the segment with 2871 sales this year, compared to the Granvia’s 98. 

Toyota Australia executives don’t appear to have a solution to their people-mover problem, either.

“We don’t have other plans right now – so Granvia is our offering in the market,”  Toyota Australia’s product planning and development general manager, Rod Ferguson, told CarsGuide.

“Tarago has finished up, and our people-mover offering is the Granvia,” he said.

The Granvia is offered as six- or eight-seater, with the entry grade listing for $64,090. Kia’s Carnival comes standard with eight seats, with prices starting at $46,880.

Toyota’s vice-president of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, says there’s a place for Granvia but believes buyers are moving to SUVs instead.

“Look, I think there’s no doubt that there’s a people-mover market there,” he said.  

“We think Granvia is putting us into that market. We’re also seeing an expansion in that SUV market, with Kluger being classic example of that, and we have the impending launch of LandCruiser. We’ve also got Prado, and while not a people mover or an SUV, we’re seeing a migration to the ute market, too.” 

“We will always look at different market trends, but we think Granvia plays a role for us in that people-mover market, however, we also think it’s important to look beyond that people movers to the broader SUV offering in which we’re quite a dominant player.”

The Granvia, however, is not the only people mover in Toyota’s global line-up, and as reported by CarsGuide, Australians could see the Sienna arrive in local showrooms to wage war on the Carnival.

Toyota Australia’s senior executives were tight lipped on the possibility of Sienna coming to the rescue.  

“We haven’t got any plans around Sienna at the moment,” Mr Ferguson said.

The fourth generation of the Sienna arrived in the United States in 2020 and is available there only as a hybrid. Built on the same TNGA-K platform as the Kluger, RAV4 and Camry, the Sienna has a sleeker, more refined appearance than the Granvia and starts in the US with a list price of $45,916 (AUD).