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(LEAD) SsangYong launches Korando SUV to boost sales

All Headlines 11:34 February 26, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS executive comments and background in paras 4-8)

Incheon, South Korea, Feb. 26 (Yonhap) -- SsangYong Motor Co., the South Korean unit of Indian carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., on Tuesday launched an all-new compact SUV to boost sales.

The Korando SUV is a full-change model of the eight-year-old Korando C. It comes with an upgraded 1.6-liter diesel engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the company said in a statement.

SsangYong Motor has invested 350 billion won (US$313 million) to develop the Korando compact SUV in the past four years under the project name of C300.

This year, the SUV-focused carmaker plans to release the gasoline-powered Korando to achieve a sales target of 30,000 units in the domestic market this year, Assistant Managing Director Kim Jae-seon at SsangYong's marketing division, told reporters.

The company said it plans to gradually export the new SUV to major markets this year.

The new Korando has adopted the Level 2.5 Deep Control autonomous driving technologies and aims to apply a full self-driving automation technology in the long term, Kim said.

A Level 3 car, if fully developed, will allow lane changes and other autonomous driving functions to work without intervention by the driver. For the Level 2 technology, the driver can initiate a lane change on the highway, as well as exit and join highways, if he or she just turns on the indicator light.

The new car comes with a set of safety features, such as the intelligent adaptive cruise control with stop and start function, improved fuel efficiency, exit assist function, safety distance alert and rear cross traffic alert, the statement said.

The base Korando that sends power to two wheels via a six-speed manual transmission starts at 22 million won, with a six-speed automatic transmission version priced at 25 million won. The four-wheel-drive model with a six-speed automatic transmission sells for 28 million won. The price goes up depending on options, it said.

In 2018, the maker of the flagship G4 Rexton and compact Tivoli SUVs sold 141,995 vehicles, down 1.2 percent from 143,685 a year earlier.

Mahindra & Mahindra owns a 72.85 percent stake in SsangYong Motor.

SsangYong Motor's all-new Korando SUV (Yonhap)


kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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