The first electric vehicle from a South Korean manufacturer is in the cards for SsangYong, which is working on three new models after being rescued from two years of financial turmoil.
South Korean car manufacturer ssangyong – recently under new ownership, after nearly two years on life support – has outlined plans for a wave of new models to boost its global sales.
As reported,The new owner is the South Korean steel and chemical company KG Group, which A$340m in debt to the automaker’s creditors, almost two years after it first entered bankruptcy protection before Christmas 2020.
With a new owner injecting funds, SsangYong is developing three new models for launch by the end of 2024, two of which are electric, including what is said to be the first electric ute from a South Korean brand.
According to a report from JulySsangYong Co-CEO Chung Yong-won gave South Korean media a rundown of the three models: an electric SUV next year, a second, possibly gasoline-powered SUV in 2024, and the electric ute in 2024.
“In the second half of next year, we will launch a mid-size electric SUV that will be an innovative model that will outperform other models in the same category,” said Chung Yong-won.
“In the middle of 2024, we will launch a product with the code name ‘KR10’, which is a reinterpretation of our traditional Korando model, and in the second half of 2024, we will launch an electric pickup truck, which no other domestic automaker has attempted. “.
The company has publicly referred to next year’s electric SUV under the code name ‘U100’, and SsangYong’s UK division has confirmed that it is an electric version of the new Torres mid-size SUV.
SsangYong signed a deal with Chinese electric car giant BYD to supply its ‘Blade’ battery packs for electric Towers, a deal that was reported at the time to expand to the joint development of future battery packs and vehicle architectures.
SsangYong’s first electric vehicle was the smallest– but is also to be confirmed for Australia.
The next in SsangYong’s expansion is said to be a new SUV known as ‘KR10’ in 2024, which was unveiled in– before the leaked photos with retro design cues inspired by the 1990s SsangYong Korando SUV.
It’s unclear if the KR10, whose production name has yet to be confirmed, will use gasoline or electric power.
But what is likely to be of most interest to many in Australia is a new electric vehicle, due to launch in the second half of 2024, said to be the first of its kind from a South Korean car brand.
Few details of the new ute have been confirmed, and it is unclear whether it would use a similar body-on-frame architecture to the current diesel-powered Musso, or a ‘monocoque’ platform shared with the Torres (codenamed J100 during development). .
It is possible that it will be based on the next-generation Musso, which may launch at a similar time, if the six-year model cycles for the last two generations of SsangYong utes are any guide, given that the current Musso launched in 2018.
Plans for the electric ute were first confirmed in 2021, in a statement released as part of a financial announcement: “Now, starting with [the] Korando e-Motion [electric mid-size SUV]the company plans to expand its range of green cars with a midsize EV and an EV pick-up.”
the company was working on an electric version of the current Musso for a 2023 launch, fast-tracked to showrooms by its then-planned new owner, South Korean electric bus company Edison Motors.
However, it is unclear if this project is still ongoing, after Edison Motors missed payment deadlines and the deal collapsed.
If the late-2024 launch schedule for SsangYong’s electric utility vehicle holds, it may be the first battery-powered pickup from a South Korean manufacturer, such asbut they don’t expire until 2026.