Putting on the Sstyle
SsangYong’s wagon is not like former designs, writes NEILMcDONALD
YOU’RE looking at the new face of a revamped SsangYong car line-up. The South Korean carmaker, in the past best known for its unorthodox and quirky designs, will unveil the stylish C200 off-roader at next month’s Paris Motor Show.
The wagon is a significant departure from SsangYong’s previous designs and will form an important part of the company’s mid to long-term future.
In Australia that future has just been secured, with Sime Darby assuming distribution rights for SsangYong from the end of next month.
Sime Darby also distributes Peugoet throughout Australia. At present SsangYong is distributed by SsangYong Motors Australasia and its principals, Russell Burling and Vince Barbagallo. Burling is SsangYong distributor in New Zealand, and Barbagallo is the SsangYong dealer in Perth.
‘‘We see Sime Darby as the best candidate in the market to take the SsangYong business to the next level and look forward to working with them,’’ Burling says.
Burling will continue to distribute and retail SsangYongs in New Zealand.
Sime Darby Motors division executive vicepresident Lawrence Lee says the group has been looking to expand its local operations and move into new segments.
‘‘In SsangYong we see a strong pickup and SUV product offering that has significant opportunity for growth,’’ he says. ‘‘Its established credentials for making solid products in these segments, and the extent to which it does so as its specialty, is something we intend to capitalise on.’’
The C200 concept, described by the company as an urban compact wagon, is the first SsangYong model in Europe to have a front-wheel drive platform and monocoque body construction.
Apart from Peugeot, the Malaysia-based multinational has distribution rights in the Asia-Pacific region for BMW, Hyundai, Land Rover and Ford. SsangYong has about 50 outlets in Australia but the brand is not strong, having sold only 1137 vehicles so far this year, 25 per cent down on the same period last year.
Urban warrior: the SsangYong C200 concept is the first SsangYong model in Europe to have a front-wheel drive platform and monocoque body construction.