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SsangYong outlines Australian sales ambitions

Small car, big hopes: SsangYong Australia believes its Tivoli small SUV will be its best-selling model, ahead of the Musso pick-up.

Up to 3500 sales in 2019, 10,000 by 2022 for relaunched SsangYong Australia

SsangYong logo6 Dec 2018

SSANGYONG Australia is targeting a long, sustained period of growth upon its return to the local market, with the aim of selling 10,000 vehicles by the end of 2022 with its current and upcoming product portfolio.
 
Speaking at the re-launch of the South Korean brand Down Under, SsangYong Australia general manager Tim Smith said the upstart car-maker’s sights were set on its Japanese and Korean rivals.
 
“I’d love to be a high-performing tier-two brand in a multi-franchise dealer’s portfolio, where we’re butting heads against some of the larger Japanese and Korean competitors,” he said.
 
“So a lot of things can happen in two to three years, but I don’t want a flash-in-the-pan success, I don’t want to grow too quickly. 
 
“I want to have long, sustainable growth, both through our dealers or all of our supply-chain partners so that our customers see hat we’re here for the long haul. That would be an ideal scenario.”
 
Mr Smith added that he would like to see the brand reach the top 15 in sales in three years’ time, which on current sales figures would put it ahead of the likes of Renault, Land Rover, Lexus, Skoda, Jeep and Volvo.
 
“I’d love to be able to be in the top 15 in three years’ time, it’s a lofty goal but I’d love to be by 2022 selling five figures.”
 
SsangYong Australia PR and product planning manager Andrew Ellis said one of the ways the brand can grow its sales is through sharp pricing, which has helped other brands establish a foothold in Australia. 
 
He added that SsangYong has a point of difference compared to compatriots Hyundai and Kia in that it offers a ladder-frame pick-up and SUV.
 
“I think the one thing that our competitors from Korea lack is a full-size LCV, and that’s where I think the Musso is really going to cut across. And at that price point, you’ve got to consider it,” he said. 
 
“I think we’ve seen the rise of some other brands because of their price point, and we’ve not only got a great price point, but we’ve got a brand with 4x4 heritage and all the features (customers) are looking for.”
 
Another bonus for Australia is SsangYong’s reliance on right-hand-drive markets, which means that product can be readily available in Australia at the same time as left-hook countries, allowing fresh product to come Down Under quickly.
 
“One good thing we do have a real advantage (with) is we’ve also got a lot of right-hand-drive markets. So with the Mahindra tie-in we have India, we’ve got a big export market to the UK. 
 
“So the great thing for us is that means they’re developing right-hand drive cars at the same time of availability as left-hand-drive cars. So we’re getting it within months of it turning up in Korea. And they’re very, very cognisant of what we need in a right-hand-drive market, which is fantastic.”
 
In the more immediate future, SsangYong is targeting between 3000 and 3500 annual sales, with the Tivoli small SUV expected to be the biggest volume-seller for the brand, ahead of the Musso pick-up.
 
The four-model launch range will be bolstered in 2019 with the addition of more Musso variants and a major Tivoli facelift in the second quarter, as well as the arrival of the new Korando medium SUV in the third quarter.
 
“Next year we’ll be looking at 3000 to 3500 total. We are not going to go out there and say we’re going to do five figures in the first year, there are a lot of competitors out there,” said Mr Ellis.
 
“We think Tivoli (will be the best seller) because of the price point and small SUV, but we see real opportunity for Musso, real opportunity for that vehicle.”
 
SsangYong expects the top-spec Ultimate to initially be the most popular variant, while the mid-spec ELX will become more popular over time. 

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