South Korean’s Ssangyong planning U.S. offensive

South Korean’s Ssangyong planning U.S. offensive

South Korea-based Ssangyong has announced plans to sell cars in the United States by the year 2020.

Owned by India’s Mahindra, the brand will launch its offensive with two models. The first will be an updated version of the Tivoli (pictured), a small crossover that competes in the same segment as the Mazda CX-3 and the Honda HR-V in Europe. The second model will be a brand new version of the Korando, a bigger soft-roader aimed right at the Kia Sportage and the Volkswagen Tiguan.

Ssanyong knows that setting up shop in the United States is easier said than done, but it’s preparing for a tussle.

“America is very, very competitive, so we need to build a good brand. That’s why we’re now preparing completely new products,” explained company CEO Choi Johng-sik in an interview with Automotive News.

Both crossovers will come standard with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 162 horsepower. Buyers who need more grunt will be able to pay extra for a 2.0-liter turbo four tuned to provide 220 horses. Front-wheel drive will come standard, and all-wheel drive will be available at an extra cost.

Pricing information isn’t available yet, though Ssangyong’s models will likely be marketed as budget-oriented alternatives to better-established rivals. Additional details about Ssangyong’s plans to enter the North American market for the first time will be announced in the coming months.

Photos by Ronan Glon.

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