Putting on the Sstyle

SsangYong’s wagon is not like for­mer de­signs, writes NEILMcDONALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

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.

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