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Fresh product to lift SsangYong sales

SsangYong and on: Though SsangYong’s sales have been lacklustre so far since the brand’s relaunch in December, the Musso XLV (left) and Korando (below) are expected to boost volume.

SsangYong admits there is ‘room to improve’ after slow six months following launch

3 Jun 2019

SSANGYONG Australia is currently off the pace of its projected 3000 new-vehicle sales this year, but all-new models such as the just-introduced Musso XLV pick-up and upcoming Korando mid-size SUV launching in the final quarter are expected to give the Korean brand’s sales a major shot in the arm.
The brand’s exact sales figures this year remain undisclosed, however SsangYong Australia managing director Tim Smith told journalists at the launch of the Musso XLV last week that the company’s three-model line-up has been tracking below expectations after six months on the market.
“We’ve had some launch models not doing as well as they should,” he said. “But we’re quietly confident that – particularly with Musso XLV – (sales will pick up).
 “It’s got a pointed difference … and all-new Korando coming up, we’re going to be a bit better.”
SsangYong launched last December with the Musso ute, Tivoli small SUV – which is also available in extended-wheelbase XLV form – and the Rexton large SUV. 
GoAuto understands that the Tivoli and Rexton in particular have struggled to gain traction in the competitive Australian market.
The Rexton, which starts at $39,990 driveaway, is believed to be SsangYong’s lowest-selling model, competing for market share against established sub-$70,000 rivals such as the Isuzu MU-X, Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Kluger and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.
Similarly, the Tivoli has disappointed in its sub-$40,000 segment, where it competes against the likes of the ageing-but-dominant Mitsubishi ASX, Mazda’s CX-3, Hyundai’s Kona and the Honda HR-V.
However, Mr Smith said May will be the first month SsangYong figures will be included on the monthly VFACTS report, with approval from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) already accepted. These figures will be released this week. 
“We have been transparent, so we want to share how good – and how good we are against everyone else,” he said. “Also, how competitive the market is at the moment. So yeah, we start reporting it in the month.
“We’re tracking reasonably well to target. But you know, we’ve got room to improve and our performance in a difficult market has been quite good, but we’ve got more to go. We’ve got more room to improve.”
Key to the sales lift will be the Musso XLV that hits showrooms this month to double SsangYong’s pick-up range and take advantage of the end-of-financial-year sales.
Priced from $33,990 driveaway, the XLV matches the short-wheelbase Musso in pricing for equivalent grades, however Mr Smith confirmed pricing will move north after a few months.
Also crucial to SsangYong’s success will be the new Korando that is launching into healthy sub-$60,000 mid-size SUV market – the largest segment in Australia – that is led by the Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Outlander and Toyota RAV4.
Though pricing and specification is yet to be revealed, Mr Smith confirmed Korando will launch in October and ultimately sit as the brand’s second-best-selling model behind the Musso.
Around the same time, SsangYong will also introduce an update to its Tivoli that is expected to usher in tweaked aesthetics and extra equipment, while next year the brand will launch a new people-mover and an additional mid-size crossover – both of which have been confirmed for right-hand-drive production.

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