KG Mobility Corporation, formerly known as SsangYong Motor Company, announced it has signed an agreement with China’s BYD Company to co-develop next-generation battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

The South Korean SUV manufacturer signed an agreement at BYD’s headquarters in the Chinese city of Shenzhen this week. The two companies plan to co-develop a new range of battery-powered and plug-in hybrid models including a new pickup truck codenamed O100, a sub-compact SUV codenamed KR10 and a new flagship SUV based on the Rexton codenamed F100. The first models are expected to be ready by late 2024.

The two also plan to develop a new electric powertrain system for the recently launched Torres EVX, which is currently equipped with a 73.4 kWh lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery giving it a range of up to 430 km. KG Mobility also produces the battery-powered Korando Emotion, which it launched in early 2022 but is not available in South Korea reportedly due to battery issues.

A new electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle battery pack plant will be built in the southern port city of Changwon, near KG Mobility’s existing engine plant, with the size of the new investment not yet disclosed. The automaker operates a 300,000 unit/year vehicle assembly plant in city of Pyeongtaek, some 60 km south of Seoul.

The company said in a statement “engineers from the two companies have already entered into a project to develop a next-generation hybrid system. With BYD, we will accelerate the development of electric vehicles, the next-generation growth driver, and strengthen the company’s foundation for sustainable growth”. 

KG Mobility chairman Kwak Jae-Sun confirmed “expanding cooperation with BYD will be an opportunity to strengthen our electric vehicle lineup, including Torres EVX, KR10, and F100, and to reorganize the company’s product lineup around eco-friendly vehicles, introducing electric vehicle-exclusive platforms and launching hybrid models”.

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In the first ten months of 2023 KG Mobility reported a 10% sales increase to 102,640 units, including 56,725 domestic sales and 48,032 exports.