SsangYong to accelerate EV development as part of ‘self-rescue’ plan

SsangYong is to accelerate its new vehicle development as the brand looks to find a new investor to secure its future.

The South Korean SUV firm is 75 per cent owned by Indian automotive giant Mahindra & Mahindra, which has been trying to find an owner for its struggling affiliate for some time.

SsangYong was also put under receivership in the Seoul Bankruptcy Court in April in the hope it would help secure investment. UK operations have remained unaffected.

A new electric SsangYong SUV – codenamed J100 – is set to enter production in 2022
A new electric SsangYong SUV – codenamed J100 – is set to enter production in 2022

But as SsangYong fights to secure a buyer, it has announced a range of new models and accelerated development of EVs as part of what it calls a ‘self-rescue plan’ to ‘ensure its survival in the rapidly changing automotive marketplace’.

Key to the development is the introduction of its first electric car – the Korando e-Motion. Based on the regular SUV, which has been on sale since 2019, this new EV entered full production yesterday (June 14) in South Korea.

SsangYong has said the new model’s production is restricted because of the global shortage of semiconductors – ‘chips’ used to power a range of components in modern cars, including everything from touchscreens to reversing cameras and power steering. However, the firm has added that the Korando e-Motion will be shipped ‘for sale in Europe and the UK later in the year’.

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At the same time, SsangYong has also announced a new electric SUV – codenamed the J100. Set to go into production in 2022, the model has been teased in design sketches that reveal a muscular and chunky design.

An electric pick-up is also said to be in the pipeline, though no further details have been revealed.

SsangYong Motors receiver Chung Yong-won said: “We are establishing a strong foothold for corporate rehabilitation through a successful merger and acquisition and putting our very best efforts into new car development by addressing the rapidly changing automotive trends.

“In addition, we are expanding the line-up of eco-cars, discovering future growth opportunities such as new business models, and preparing for renewed competitiveness.”