Currently reading: New Ssangyong Rexton to lead sales push from 2017
The SUV will go on sale next year priced at less than £30k and will be previewed by a thinly-veiled concept at the Paris motor show

Ssangyong is planning to launch three new models over the next three years that it believes will move it towards profitability and increase global production towards 500,000 units a year and UK sales to 10,000.

Next year, it will replace its Range Rover-sized Rexton 4x4 with an all-new model. The new Rexton, codenamed Y400, is aimed squarely at Hyundai’s Santa Fe.

It will come with a choice of new 2.2-litre diesel and 2.0-litre turbo petrol engines and equipment will include lane departure warning and autonomous braking. Prices are expected to start below £30,000 when it goes on sale in the UK.

In 2018, Ssangyong will launch a new Rexton-based, full-sized crew-cab pick-up, codenamed Q200, to battle Ford’s Ford Ranger and Toyota’s Hilux. It will come in two different wheelbases and with a choice of two load bay lengths, and will be powered by the same powertrains as the new Rexton.

In 2019, the Korean car maker will replace the current mid-sized Korando SUV with a stylish third generation model designed to rival the Kia Sportage and Nissan Qashqai. Its styling will draw inspiration from the Tivoli, and it will use a lengthened version of the Tivoli’s monocoque architecture, including multi-link rear suspension.

Company bosses are currently evaluating three design proposals for the model, codenamed C300, and say they must decide soon if the model is to meet its planned schedule.

Another small SUV on the cards

In the meantime, Ssangyong is also considering introducing another model into the popular small SUV market, alongside the Tivoli. It recently showed a sporty, youth-oriented concept called XAV that drew wide approval, and helpfully employs familiar Tivoli underpinnings. Putting that model into production, which is expected to be a three-door sporty alternative to the Tivoli, would take as little as 24 months, according to Ssangyong officials. However, there is no confirmation yet that it is part of the cycle plan.

In the last half-dozen years, Ssanyyong has steadily recovered its position, after coming close to bankruptcy in 2009, thanks to the worldwide recession and misguided management, first by Korean-based Daewoo and then Chinese SAIC Group.

Ssangyong’s group CEO Johng-sik Choi said the company will keep battling to recover traction lost in export markets during the 2008-2009 recession, and more recently in Russia, where sales have been hit by sanctions.

In the UK, Ssangyong’s sales have increased from a low point of 280 units 2010 to 3600 last year. UK CEO Paul Williams believes that figure could exceed 6000 in 2016, when the extra-length Tivoli XLV is added to the range. Total UK sales of around 10,000 are “within sight” when the planned new models all hit the market.

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US launch isn't far off

When the new Korando arrives, CEO Choi believes the stage will be set for Ssangyong to launch several cars in the US. “Our C300 would be right for the US market,” he says, “and now that Mahindra has acquired the Pininfarina design house in Italy, we have a name that can add credibility to our own.” Choi believes that at that stage 50,000 US sales “would be conservative”.  

Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

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Add a comment…
StuM82 10 June 2016

Not ugly enough

How will this new car appeal to the old car's customers, i.e. relatives of Mr Magoo? It is nowhere near ugly enough.
Folks_Wagen 10 June 2016

LIV1 looks good

I like the look of the LIV1, even if from the side it's very similar to an X5. But those others in the lineup are real munters. Mr Magoo won't be disappointed.
Nick Rutter 9 June 2016

On the right track

I've seen a few Tivolis knocking around now and have to see it's quite a good-looking car. Maybe not on a par with Nissan, or even Hyundai/Kia, but certainly up there with Suzuki and Subaru and actually pleasantly eye-catching. If they can do more of the same with the Rexton then more power to their elbow, say I. Compared to where they were 10-15 years ago with the likes of the old Korando and the Kyron they've made excellent progress and this 3-year plan seems eminently feasible.
MaxTorque 12 June 2016

Nick Rutter wrote: Maybe not

Nick Rutter wrote:

Maybe not on a par with Nissan, or even Hyundai/Kia, but certainly up there with Suzuki and Subaru and actually pleasantly eye-catching.

I'd thought Hyundai/Kia should take the place of Nissan in your sentence - cars like the Tucson and Sante Fe are far more distinctive and better-looking than the likes of Qashqai and Terrano which look rather dull and anodyne by comparison. And don't get me started on the Juke.

Scratch 9 June 2016

Refreshingly different

Makes a refreshing change from everything else. Pleased to see the front is not marred by an over-sized agressive grill.