SsangYong Australian Launch
SsangYong motor company has been around in varying forms for 60 plus years with a history of building 4WD SUV dating back to the 1960’s where the original companies were building Jeeps for the US Army.
But in the Australian market up until now, has been the forgotten Korean manufacturer. Australia has accepted both Hyundai and Kia as mainstream brands, yet SsangYong has failed to make any strong inroads into the market. This is despite the fact that in Korea it is on a level playing ground with the other two manufacturers.
Part of the reason was availability of some poor models and atrociously designed and styled vehicles (read plain ugly), part was the importer, part was who knows what, But some like the Avtyon Sports Ute weren’t too bad. However to ensure history doesn’t repeat itself, the relaunch of the SsangYong brand into Australia is now factory backed.
In fact the importance of the Australian market to SsangYong is evidenced by the fact that this market is the only market globally where SsangYong Company has stepped in to own the distributorship.
This is key to the success of the relaunch, as traditionally Australians haven’t embraced manufacturers that have a history of here today gone tomorrow back again.
- Tivoli – a small urban SUV that will be available in either 2WD or AWD , petrol or diesel, manual or automatic transmissions. It has sharp styling, is loaded with standard features along with excellent road manners and pinpoint pricing.
- Tivoli XLV – which is on the same platform as the Tivoli, has all the same features but has an added body length to convert the small SUV into more of a wagon with class leading luggage space.
- Rexton – a seven seat dual range 4WD SUV powered by a diesel engine and 7 speed Mercedes Benz transmission. It will also be available in 2WD petrol version as well.
- Musso – a dual can 4WD Dual range Ute that is again packed with standard features, has rear wheel disc brakes and coil suspension and is powered by a diesel engine and a 6 speed Aisin AT or 6 speed MT. There is a longer tray version on its way as well.
The model range in each vehicle is easy to understand and follow. There is the EXV, ELX and Ultimate.
Another key feature that SsangYong has launched with is standard RDAP pricing across the model range across Australia. Simple to understand and yet buyers can still negotiate with dealers for better pricing.
Speaking of dealers there has been a large uptake of previous dealers resigning with the brand and currently there are some 30 plus dealers and this will rapidly grow to 40 plus in 2019. That is good news for buyers.
In addition to this there is a schedule of model updates, new models, Australian tuned suspension updates etc for the coming few years. This again is good news for the buying public.
Owning a SsangYong
The good news continues with a stunning ownership support package. Every model in the SsangYong Australia range comes complete with a comprehensive seven-year, unlimited kilometre warranty, seven years’ roadside assistance and seven years’ service price menu.
The winner here are the buyers.
At the Australian launch I had the opportunity to chat at length with Tim Smith the Australian Managing Director and Andrew Ellis the Australian Communications manager, both industry veterans and good operators, about the plans and the future.
Now you always get rhetoric and the company line when talking to Car companies, however the directness and openness from both of them was refreshing and also bodes well for the relaunch success.
Over the next few days I will be reviewing the models from the launch, but the first impressions were actually really positive.