At the recent SsangYong launch, the now factory-backed brand detailed plans for a busy first 12 months in the Australian new car market.
If you believe the experts, timing is everything, and SsangYong is in the fortunate position of being able to offer local buyers some fresh metal. Both the Musso ute and Rexton SUV are new models and arrive with the required spec sheets to succeed.
The Musso range will expand in 2019 to include an extended wheelbase version that will offer a 300mm longer tray. The longer Musso will switch to leaf springs at the rear which will increase the payload to one tonne.  
It’s a slightly different story for the small Tivoli SUV, it’s well stocked, however, it’s currently halfway through its life-cycle and as such, it will undergo a major model update in 2019.
The update to the Tivoli will include new 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol and diesel engines.
Interestingly, even though the Musso, Rexton and Tivoli exhibited a compliant and comfortable suspension tune at launch, SsangYong will be undertaking a local tuning program to develop a bespoke calibration for our market. This isn't something smaller brands generally do.
Those with Columbo-like skills will notice a gap in the range for a medium SUV. The all-new Korando will slot between the Tivoli and Rexton. The next-generation Korando is on track to be revealed at the Geneve motor show in March, with a possible Australian launch late in 2019.
The Korando is also expected to be SsangYong’s first fully-electric model which is due to launch globally in 2020.
SsangYong isn't just busy Down Under, the brand’s head office is planning to launch new or heavily updated models every year until 2022.
Behind the scenes, SsangYong is keen to build confidence in the brand. A major step in this process is a new spare parts warehouse which is based in Melbourne.
At present, SsangYong has 34 dealers around Australia with that number set to reach 40 before too long. SsangYong’s local team says there is plenty of dealers keen to take the marque on. Holden dealers, in particular, are keen to widen their portfolios.
In terms of sales, SsangYong is aiming to sell 3500 cars in its first year back in Australia. Based on the overall quality of the cars, the generous ownership credentials and sharp drive-away pricing, it’s a very achievable number.
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