The world’s automotive market is drifting towards two separate poles according to Anand Mahindra, the chairman and managing director of Mahindra Group.

Speaking at the Seoul Motor Show, where Mahindra-owned SsangYong launched its new flagship SUV, the G4 Rexton, Mahindra outlined his group’s strategy to take advantage of global changes to the automotive market.

“My personal view of the automotive market is that it is changing very, very fast.”

“My personal view of the automotive market is that it is changing very, very fast,” he said. “With the advent of the sharing economy, many people, including millennials and young people today prefer access to cars over ownership. There is also a global increase in environmental consciousness. Electric vehicles are going to be in greater demand.

“Does that mean the auto industry as we know it is going to grind to a halt? I don’t believe so.”

Mahindra described the market’s polarisation and his company’s strategy – with SsangYong playing a central role – to address that.

“There will be two segments of cars as the market drifts towards two separate poles. The first one will be cars that provide value for money, which are environmentally friendly and which will principally serve the sharing economy.

“The other part of the automotive market will belong to people who will want to buy cars simply because of the joy of driving. They will buy cars that are objects of desire and that symbolise the pride of ownership that are extensions of their personality and help to express who they are.

“These are cars that people fall in love with, the cars that we cannot live without.”

“These are cars that people fall in love with, the cars that we cannot live without.”

Mr Mahindra maintains that SsangYong’s continued success depends on having products in both these segments, but that it will play the lead in developing ‘objects of desire’. The industrial strength of Mahindra Group will be instrumental to developing electric vehicles for both brands.

“Mahindra Group will collaborate with SsangYong, especially in the area of electric vehicles, to tackle the changing needs of the first segment,” Mahindra said. “And SsangYong is going to lead our collective success in the other segment, the segment that we call ‘objects of desire’. That segment will remain important because, in spite of all the disruption, some things never change. There will always be people who truly love cars and who see cars as dreams, as a reflection of their dreams and aspirations.

“When you take a look at the G4 Rexton, a beautiful SUV, you will see that there is no better way to tell the world that SsangYong knows how to make these objects of desire, these objects that the world wants. A resurgent SsangYong is back with the best that luxury SUVs can offer.”

Mahindra also told assembled media in Seoul that the Tivoli model has been an “outstanding success” and key to the turnaround of a resurgent SsangYong. “SsangYong today stands firmly on its own two feet,” he said. “

“SsangYong is re-established as a credible and respected player and in a phase of resurgence.”

SsangYong is re-established as a credible and respected player and in a phase of resurgence. With the launch of G4 Rexton, SsangYong is re-entering the world of luxury SUVs and it is back in the running for the very top slot in this segment. G4 Rexton is our statement of intention, as well as a return to SsangYong’s roots.

“The original Rexton was the car that made SsangYong famous and with this new fourth generation, SsangYong is building on its past success and building a new future.”

See also: SsangYong plots 250K pa grow

2017 Automotive Megatrends and Markets Report