South Korea’s fourth largest automaker is planning to enter the U.S. market as early as 2019.
Owned by India’s Mahindra & Mahindra, rumors and speculation of Ssangyong joining the U.S. market have been whispered over the years but this is the first time the company’s CEO has put a timeframe to it.
CEO Choi Johng-sik says Ssangyong is readying a “make or break” entry under a new company name, although his comments contradict what Mahindra executive director Pawan Goenka told Reuters. Goenka previously said that plans for Ssangyong to enter the U.S. market were “somewhat on the back burner,” and the company’s priority is to manufacture vehicles in China.
One source familiar with the matter told Reuters that Ssangyong Motor executives may not be on the same page as Mahindra when it comes to the U.S. market. The Korean automaker is trying to expand overseas to combat a slump in Russia, one of its key markets.
An investment of over $100 million will be made, said the CEO, adding that the company has three to four years to prepare for the entry, starting with the midsized SUV SIV-2.