News - SsangYong
SsangYong to broaden Musso range with base variant
4x2 range-opener, genuine accessories range on the way for SsangYong Musso pick-up
7 Dec 2018
SSANGYONG Australia plans to expand its Musso pick-up range in March with an entry-level 4x2 version that the company hopes to bring in at under $30,000 driveaway.
The new variant, dubbed ES, will sit below the EX manual that is priced at $30,490 driveaway, and it will be based on the short-wheelbase, coil-sprung layout of the launch range.
The ES will launch in March alongside the long-wheelbase Musso variants that extend the wheelbase and tray length, and add leaf-sprung rear suspension for a greater payload. The ES is not expected to be offered in long-wheelbase form.
SsangYong Australia managing director Tim Smith told GoAuto that long-wheelbase variants will share the same specification levels as the regular variants, but will come with a slight price premium.
He said early interest in the Musso has been encouraging and that it would be the job of the company to convince pick-up buyers to put the new contender on their shopping lists.
“I expect (interest in) the Musso to be strong, but that has lived up to expectations,” he said.
“So there are a lot of people on the fence who are saying ‘it’s not going to compete’, but I’ve got to prove to those people, if they’re in the market to purchase a car to consider us.
“But then also support the dealers who are interested and support the customers who are interested in the Musso, and deliver on their promise as well.”
With the arrival of a sub-$30,000 variant and a range that tops out at under $40,000, the potential for fleet business is strong, but Mr Smith said meaningful progress on fleet deals would have to wait until the Musso was officially tested by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
“Because we’ve just started working with ANCAP on crash rating, it’s a little difficult to (discuss fleets with businesses), because the first thing they say is, ‘come back and see us when it’s been crash rated’,” he said.
“We have started to look at small fleets, small business fleets, and certainly we’ve had some enquiry. But no, I haven’t started a huge amount of work with FMOs (fleet management organisations) or anything like that until I get that settled.”
He added that the company would “absolutely” start targeting fleet sales once the ANCAP ratings are official.
With 32 dealers on board for the relaunch of the SsangYong brand after two years in the wilderness, Mr Smith said the Musso was the most enticing model to dealers.
“Because we’ve got a large percentage of rural dealers they’re pretty excited about a Korean ute, there’s no other Korean ute so they’re pretty excited about that.”
The company is also working on a range of genuine accessories to fit to the Musso, ranging from towbars to bullbars and lift kits.
“We have a vast range of accessories, we’re working with a whole bunch of suppliers,” said Mr Smith.
“Trimotive will have towbars for Musso and Rexton from the start of sale, so December through to February, we have over a dozen accessory items for Musso and Rexton that will be available.
Certifying genuine bullbars will take longer due to the tricky nature of meeting safety protocols.
“Bullbars are difficult as you know, the testing for bullbars will take the longest, maybe three months, but nudge bars and other things we’re looking at extensively.
“Snorkels, lift kits, suspension tunes, offering a suspension tune as an accessory. We’re partnering with Ironman and other great suppliers so we’ve got a lot of things we want to talk about to you … there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes.”
The Tivoli and Tivoli XLV will also be offered with a towbar, while more accessories for the small SUV pair will come on stream in coming months.
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