SsangYong Motor unveiled the G4 Rexton in a world premiere on the eve of the Seoul Motor Show on Thursday, seeking to expand its presence in the fast-growing market for sport utility vehicles.
Previously referred to as the Y400, the South Korean carmaker owned by Mumbai-based Mahindra Group named the large SUV the G4 Rexton to highlight four main aspects. The G4 is meant to represent the “Great 4 Revolution” in driving, safety, style and high technology, the carmaker said.
“Ssangyong is in the phase of resurgence. With the launch of the G4 rexton, we are re-entering the world of luxury SUV,” said Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra Group, at a press conference during which the SUV was unveiled.
The chairman said the SUV marks SsangYong returning to its roots, calling it the brand that made the carmaker famous. “I am very confident SsangYong is going to succeed.”
The new G4 Rexton marks Korea’s first Quad Frame SUV. The automaker partnered with South Korea’s largest steelmaker Posco to develop a high-strength steel SUV that emphasizes both safety and performance. By using Posco’s giga steel, an ultrahigh-tensile strength steel rated at 1.5 gigapascal, the carmaker improved the strength of the quad frame while making it lighter than the previous type.
The full-frame body and rear-wheel drive system improve both the ride and driving performance, officials said. The SUV has improved safety, as it is equipped with nine airbags and has an ultrahigh strength Quad Frame body structure, they added.
The G4 Rexton is expected to compete in the premium SUV market against popular models including Kia’s Mohave as well as imported models such as Land Rover’s Discovery and the Ford Explorer.
Mahindra was visiting South Korea for the first time in two years. Last time the chairman was here to launch the Tivoli in the market.
|G4 Rexton (SsangYong Motor)
Asked the reason behind positioning the G4 Rexton as a premium SUV despite its competitive price, the chairman said that it is an attempt to restore SsangYong’s brand reputation not only in South Korea, but also in Europe.
“This is the signal to the market that we are the SUV king here, to signal that we are going back to that position,” the chairman said.
The Indian company also said it plans to invest 1 trillion won ($894.8 million) more in SsangYong, as it sees further growth potential in the SUV market.
“As we move forward, for the next four years, we expect to invest another 1 trillion won, in current development for the various products that we have already announced and are on discussion,” said Pawan Kumar Goenka, managing director of Mahindra Group.
“We expect just like the last five years, most of the fundraising will happen internally, through equity investment if needed. Mahindra is fully behind to support all the investment SsangYong needs.”
Goenka’s comment on raising funds internally meant that SsangYong will take charge of the funding, without Mahindra Group directly injecting the funds, officials in Seoul explained afterward.
By Cho Chung-un (email@example.com)
|Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra Group, introduces SsangYong’s new G4 Rexton premium SUV during a press conference held at the 2017 Seoul Motor Show in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, Thursday. (Yonhap)