News - SsangYong - Musso
Aussie-tuned SsangYong Musso incoming
More accessories and local suspension tune rolling out for SsangYong’s Musso
7 Jun 2019
By TUNG NGUYEN
SSANGYONG Australia’s local suspension tune of its Musso pick-up has been slow to come to market but, in addition to more dealer-fit accessories, is still expected to arrive before the fourth quarter.
Although parts such as tubular side steps and a soft tonneau cover are already available, from this month, SsangYong will also roll out a factory-approved tow bar, nudge bar, hard lids, a suspension lift kit, extra underbody protection and canopy for its Korean-sourced ute.
Speaking to journalists last week at the launch of the extended wheelbase Musso XLV, SsangYong Australia managing director Tim Smith explained that the development of the pick-up add-ons has paralleled the suspension changes.
“Our senior engineers are in the country right now,” he said. “They are meeting with our supplier to finalise the suspension tune for Musso, there’s a little bit of a way to go to get that to production, but the good news is that that same suspension tune ethos and data, we will apply to an accessory fit.
“We’re just working on whether we have one or two accessory options. We’ll have a serious off-road kit, which will do a lift and everything that will have exactly the same tune as the production will have once it’s signed off.”
Mr Smith would not be drawn on solid timing of the suspension changes, but said the development process had begun in February, and that the Australian division have the full support of SsangYong senior management in South Korea.
“We wish things could have been quicker, but it’s a complex arrangement, changing a suspension tune for a production line, but everyone’s been working very hard to get this moving as quick as possible,” he said.
“The fact that my boss has, sort of, head locked R&D to make it happen and get it going …. (is a testament to) the level of commitment that head office has for this market and to locally tune our cars.”
When asked by GoAuto if there was any consideration for an accessorised flagship ute to take on the likes of the Toyota HiLux Rogue and Holden Colorado-based HSV SportsCat, Mr Smith said the priority is bringing the parts to market.
“I’d just like to get the accessories first,” he said. “We launched very quickly and there were a couple of things that weren’t quite right at launch, one of them was accessories.”
As a smaller-volume car-maker, Mr Smith said the Korean brand drops in the pecking order for accessory-makers, but SsangYong head of aftersales Tom Bakas explained that validation of equipment is also slowing progress.
“There’s also a lot of testing involved with accessories, you can’t just develop a tow bar and chuck it on the back of your car,” Mr Bakas said.
“As an OEM, we’ve got to get it right, so things like tow bars, things like bull bars, things like nudge bars, all those type of things take a long time to develop and make sure they comply with all of the Australian standards and design rules.”
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