It hasn’t been the best of starts to 2020 for any manufacturer and SsangYong is no exception. Nonetheless, even with March sales down by 31 per cent YoY, better times should be ahead, eventually. Model life cycle age has come down, the company’s first electric SUV is due out by year end and there are other additional vehicles coming too.
Earlier on 1 April, SsangYong reported total sales of 9,345 vehicles for March, of which 6,860 were domestic market deliveries. That number was in fact a return to balance as it represented a 30.9 per cent rise compared to February thanks to the resolution of a parts shortage from China-based suppliers.
Korean market sales for March shot up by 34.5 per cent MoY, SsangYong noting that a sales tax cut, a ‘Respect Korea’ campaign encouraging and incentivising consumers to buy domestic makes, plus a 10-year/100,000 Km warranty all helped with the turnaround. Exports also rose, these being up by 22 per cent albeit from a low level. The Korando’s performance in the European region was the main factor.
ICE and electric SUVs
The second generation Tivoli is codenamed X200. The XLV/Air, which is the long-body variant, is not expected to be replaced, its market position effectively taken by the C300 series Korando. The launch for the South Korean market should take place in the first quarter of 2023 and the life cycle can be expected to last until 2030 or 2031 with a facelift in 2026/27.
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The Korando went into production in June last year, three months after its world premiere at the Geneva motor show. This 4,452mm long SUV looks like the SIV-2, a concept from March 2016’s Geneva motor show, as well as the e-SIV. Engine choice is between turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel units. The mid-cycle facelift is due in 2023 and the third generation model in 2027.
There will also be an electric SUV to be based on the Korando. Its project code is E100. What will be SsangYong’s first electric SUV was previewed by e-SIV, a concept which premiered at the 2018 Geneva motor show. Suppliers report that the E100 will have a 61.5 kWh battery pack. The launch is due in November for South Korea to be followed by Europe very soon after. The life cycle should be eight-nine years with a fresh battery pack at the time of a facelift in 2025.
Not too many specifics are yet known about SsangYong’s D300, other than it is due to reach series production in 2021/2022. At around 4.6-4.7m long, this monocoque SUV will be positioned between the Korando and G4 Rexton/Rexton, so in other words, it will go after Samsung QM6 buyers.
The larger Rexton is now three years old and therefore 9-12 months away from a facelift. This remains the brand’s only ladder-frame SUV although the Musso pick-up has the same ‘Quad Frame’ platform. Rexton G4 SUV is the name of the seven-seater, in the South Korean market at least.
There are two turbocharged four-cylinder engines: a 2.2-litre diesel and a 2.0-litre petrol. As for transmissions, the e-XDi220 diesel is linked to a seven-speed Mercedes-Benz auto while the self-shifting transmission for the 2.0-litre petrol is a six-speed Aisin unit.
Even though it has a separate chassis with the steel frame supplied by Posco, this SUV is a rival for the unibody Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento in the home market.
Mahindra & Mahindra assembles the Rexton at a plant in India, badged as the Mahindra Alturas G4 and with slight styling changes. This commenced during the fourth quarter of 2018.
SsangYong may build the Rexton for a decade, facelifting it in 2021 and again in 2024. Revised, lower emissions engines should be specified in 2022 or 2023.
D200 is the code for a five-plus metres long SUV aimed at the next generation Kia Mohave. While it had been assumed that it would share the RWD/4WD platform of the Rexton, the latest intelligence suggests it may instead be FWD/AWD model, in which case it would use the Tivoli and Korando’s X100 architecture. The launch timing had been late 2021-mid-2022 but the project has reportedly been pushed back well in 2022 and the model might even be shelved depending on how M&M and SsangYong weather the COVID-19 crisis.
Reports for many other manufacturers’ future models are grouped in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.
Future product program intelligence
More detail on past, current and forthcoming models can be found in PLDB, the future vehicles database. That includes SsangYong vehicles not listed above.
This was the first of two features examining passenger vehicle brands controlled by Mahindra & Mahindra. The next one look at not only Mahindra but Automobili Pininfarina too.