SsangYong will focus more on global markets including Europe, say company officials.
“SsangYong is committed to growing into a solid global player,” CEO Jin Kwan Soh said at the Seoul auto show here.
Other company officials echoed the new focus.
“Compared with one or two years ago, the company atmosphere has now changed from being a domestic or local sales company to a global company,” says Suk Ho Lim, managing director of SsangYong’s vehicle export division.
Lim said SsangYong will concentrate on SUVs. “The passenger-car segment has too much tough competition,” he said.
This autumn, SsangYong plans to launch in Europe a medium SUV called the Kyron to replace the Musso.
A concept for the Kyron called the SVR was exhibited at the show. The Kyron initially only will be available with a 2.0-liter common-rail diesel engine to prevent it from taking sales away from SsangYong’s 2.7-liter diesel-powered Rexton large SUV.
After struggling for more than five years, SsangYong was freed of finance problems when China’s Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. bought a controlling interest in the company in October 2004.
In January through April, SsangYong’s global exports increased 154 percent to 20,365 units. The company said its exports to western Europe during that period rose 167 percent to 11,967 units from 4,483 units during the same months last year.