Hyundai and Kia did it, so why not Ssangyong? The India-owned Korean automaker has been itching to develop its horizons for years, however tentative plans to invade the Chinese language automotive market have fallen sufferer to unhealthy timing and geopolitics. Now, the corporate’s board is weighing a U.S. entry.
It’s not the primary time Ssangyong Motor, owned by Mahindra & Mahindra, has eyed the US for an enormous quantity increase. Early final 12 months, the automaker and its mum or dad firm quickly shelved a proposed 2019 U.S. growth plan, with Ssangyong’s CEO warning it may “make or break” the corporate.
Nicely, the thought’s again. With Ssangyong desirous to land on American shores by 2020, a brand new report says the corporate has already made its resolution.
The one downside is, we don’t but know if it’s a inexperienced mild or a thumbs-down. In keeping with Wards Auto, Ssangyong’s board of administrators met in Seoul on October 26th to vote on the automaker’s plan.
“As of now, we can’t affirm it,” a spokesman informed WardsAuto following the assembly. “There could also be some information popping out, however not at this time.”
Even when the board votes it down this time, it won’t do the identical in February. Mahindra Group managing director (and Ssangyong board chair) Pawan Goenka says the automaker will re-submit the plan on the subsequent potential alternative if it fails this time.
“We actually must develop two or three good markets for SsangYong exterior Korea. China is one such potential market, however not the one potential market,” Goenka informed The Korea Herald on the 25th.
“We’re engaged on the potential of (a U.S. entry in) 2020. The board of SsangYong will likely be deciding both tomorrow (Thursday), or the February assembly to provide an approval for the funding for the U.S. And as soon as the board provides the approval, then after that it will take about three or three 1/2 years to enter the U.S.”
Mahindra’s 72-percent stake in Ssangyong means the automaker’s enthusiasm for growth is tempered by its mum or dad’s management of the purse strings. Final 12 months, Ssangyong CEO Choi Johng-sik informed Reuters, “It’s true that there are lots of issues concerning the U.S. entry.”
Mahindra needed to concentrate on China first, however South Korea’s defensive missile battery — set as much as keep at bay the nuclear risk from the North — has positioned relations with China on edge. Manufacturing was supposed to begin in that nation in 2019 through a three way partnership with Shaanxi Vehicle Group. That plan is now kaput. With China not a pleasant marketplace for Korean automobiles, Ssangyong’s gaze has as soon as once more turned eastward.
What kind of car would Ssangyong launch as its inaugural U.S. product? Assuming Mahindra and Ssangyong’s board approves of the transfer, it’s wanting like an electrical SUV (already within the works for 2020) will likely be that automobile. Ssangyong additionally debuted a really fleshed-out SIV-2 hybrid crossover idea finally 12 months’s Geneva Motor Present that ought to attain manufacturing someday in 2018. The corporate additionally builds the prevailing Tivoli SUV.
The jury’s out on whether or not America will shortly undertake the electrified way of life as soon as the correct of automobiles (with the correct of vary) seem, however Ssangyong’s SUV-heavy lineup does look like a pure match for the U.S. market. Keep tuned.
[Image: Ssangyong Motor]