Published on April 15th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
SsangYong Rexton Is Still Alive In Europe
Also in some parts of ASEAN.
Remember the SsangYong Rexton? Once the ‘darling’ of the Malaysian 7-seat SUV segment, its popularity was promoted by its Mercedes-Benz sourced diesel engine and full sized 7-seat cabin which competed with Toyota’s popular Fortuner. After a great sales run, the SsangYong brand left Malaysia some 5 years ago as the market turned its attention to the influx of better priced Japanese alternatives.
Still A SUV
SsangYong is now announcing the 2020 model year of the Rexton SUV. There is now a four-cylinder diesel engine under the bonnet, which produces 181hp. It is driven by a 7-speed automatic gearbox that delivers up to 420Nm.
The current diesel engine now complies with the Euro 6d-Temp EVAP emissions standard which allows us to be sold in some parts of Europe. With the model year change there is also a slight change in its appearance. A new grille and wide silver strips distinguishes the new Rexton from the previous model. In addition, the range of colors has been changed slightly.
Online news website Automotive News recently shared information that SsangYong’s biggest financial partner Mahindra has made the decision to cut costs after experiencing an 88 percent drop in its own sales in March 2020 due to COVID-19 related market decline.
Mahindra had earlier said the they had plans to invest a further USD423 million into SsangYong in a bid to make this Korean auto brand profitable by 2022, but has now told SsangYong to seek “alternate sources of funding”.
This move could prove disastrous for SsangYong which was only recently starting to feel the effects of Mahindra’s once-solid financial backing with the launch of its new-generation Korando mid-size SUV, as well as new versions of its Musso pickup truck and Rexton large SUV.
The lack of funding could also put the brand’s electrification plans on hold. The Korean manufacturer had planned to unveil a fully electric Korando variant with a 450km range at the Geneva Motor Show, which was ultimately cancelled over COVID-19 fears.
Meanwhile, just a couple of days ago, SsangYong Motor said it has approved the use of a 40 billion won (USD32.86 million) special fund raised by its local shareholder to help ease liquidity concern amid cooling demand due to the coronavirus.
SsangYong said its board approved the use of the fund at a meeting last Friday and that it will use it to resolve imminent liquidity issues and to relieve market concern.
SsangYong’s return to Malaysia halted in 2016 when a decision to do local assembly for the Rexton and Korando was not pushed forward by the Korean management team. With high import taxes in Malaysia, fully importing SsangYong’s into Malaysia will not be cost effective and so all plans to re-introduce the brand in Malaysia has been shelved until SsangYong Korea is ready to produce CKD’s packs for Malaysia.
Specifications: 2020 Ssangyong Rexton
Engine: 2.2-litre 4-cylinder petrol turbo-diesel
Top speed: 115mph
0-62mph: 11.3 secs
Combined fuel economy: 34.8mpg
Gearbox: 7-speed auto
Boot space: 820 litre