News - SsangYong
SsangYong and Mahindra to stand alone
Separate showrooms and logistics for SsangYong and Mahindra in Australia
30 Jul 2018
By TUNG NGUYEN in SEOUL
SSANGYONG’S resurrection in the Australian market will stand alone from parent company Mahindra Group’s own automotive operations, although the two companies will “continue to look at opportunities”.
When asked by GoAuto if there had been consultation between the two local branches as SsangYong earmarks a November relaunch, SsangYong executive director of export markets Daniel Rim said talks had taken place, but both operations would remain separate for now.
“We try to create some synergies with Mahindra Australia,” he said. “(But) we weren’t able to find much of a synergy because they are in a different market than SsangYong is, but in the future, maybe we will share some costs, logistics, parts operations, human resources, those are things we will continue to look at.
“As a group, we should try and find the optimised operations and most efficient cost structures, so we will continue to look at opportunities.”
Mahindra Australia currently offers its XUV500 medium SUV and a range of 4x2 and 4x4 Pik-Up utes, while SsangYong’s Australian market rebirth will be spearheaded by the Tivoli and XLV small SUVs, the Rexton large SUV and and mechanically related Musso pick-up.
However, from the third quarter of next year, SsangYong will launch its new-generation Korando mid-size SUV that will compete against the XUV500, as well as the Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson.
Although pricing is yet to be confirmed for SsangYong’s line-up, GoAuto expects the South Korean brand to be positioned just under its Japanese and Korean competitors, while Mahindra occupies the budget end of the market.
Mr Rim explained said: “When Mahindra invested in 2011 … this agreement was that SsangYong will remain in operation independently.
“So we stay independent in day-to-day operations from Mahindra,” he said. “But we report through any future plans to Mahindra … so we share future plans with Mahindra, but the day-to-day operations stays the same.”
GoAuto understands that the two brands could work towards vehicle platform sharing and common powertrains, but not until SsangYong has completed its mid-term plan to take it out to 2022.
Mahindra Group also owns Italian design-firm Pininfarina, which contributed to eliminating noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels in SsangYong’s Rexton large SUV and Musso pick-up.
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