Ssangyong plans four new models by 2015
* New pick-up on the cards * Nissan Juke rival planned * Hyundai Santa-Fe rival by 2015...
Ssangyong plans to launch four new models in as many years, it has revealed.
The first will be a double-cab, flat-bed pick-up that's due to arrive in 2012 and is expected to be called the Korando Sport. The car maker says the pick-up will target the lifestyle market because it's too light to be classified as a commercial vehicle in the UK, so won't be exempt from VAT.
Also confirmed is a small SUV that will arrive in 2013, which Ssanyong will market as a cheaper rival to the Nissan Juke.
Ssangyong's UK chief executive officer, Paul Williams, said pricing for the SUV is likely to follow that of the recently launched Korando crossover, which is 10-15% cheaper than its Hyundai and Kia rivals. That would make Ssangyongs Juke rival start at around 12,000.
Ssangyong also intends to launch a seven-seater rival to the Hyundai Santa Fe, which will go on sale after the Juke rival, but before 2015. It will be a different offering to the Rexton, which will remain on sale, with Williams describing the new seven-seater as 'more car-based; not a workhorse'.
The Ssangyong boss would not be drawn on details of the fourth new model that is planned.
Cleaner engine to cut CO2
Ssangyong will also introduce a reworked version of its 2.0-litre diesel engine into the Korando next year, which will significantly cut CO2, it says.
Emissions will be below 160g/km for all models apart from the 4WD automatic version. Currently only the front-wheel-drive manual version is below that mark, and that is set to fall from 157g/km to around 145g/km.
Next year, Ssangyong will introduce face-lifted versions of the Rexton and Rodius, and the company hopes to increase sales to around 10,000 a year by 2013.
Williams said that the money invested in the company by Indian car maker Mahindra will allow Ssangyong to essentially start again from scratch.
'99% of people dont know we exist at the moment, which is not necessarily a bad thing,' he said, but the plans are to grow rapidly. 'We have around 40 dealers now, which should be 50 by the end of the year and 60 by the middle of 2012.'