A tentative timetable has been set for 2020

Ssangyong is making a push to enter the US market by 2020 and it’s bringing two small SUVs with it. That much was bared by the company’s very own CEO, Choi Johng-sik, who told Automotive News that the Korean automaker’s plans to introduce an updated version of the Tivoli subcompact crossover and the a new version of the Koran compact crossover. Both models are expected to arrive in the US with four-wheel drive when they hit the market in a few year’s time.

The company’s decision to enter the US market comes at a time when the Mahindra-owned company is slowly getting back on solid footing after years of failing to turn a profit. In fact, according to Choi, Ssangyong is expected to break even this year, the first time it isn’t hitting the red since 2001. It’s also on the verge of introducing a pair of turbocharged four-cylinder engines that will both be used by US-bound versions of the Tivoli and the Korando. One of the engines is a 1.5-liter engine that can produce 162 horsepower while the other is a bigger 2.0-liter unit that’s good for as much as 220 horsepower.

It’s still unclear how Ssangyong plans to package both models when they arrive in the US, but with the crossover/SUV market being as competitive as it is in this part of the world, the company is gearing up to ensure that it isn’t in over its head when it finally makes its debut in the US.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Low risk, high reward move for Ssangyong

How about this, huh? Ssangyong is about to step out of the enormous shadows of Kia and Hyundai and is about to take a significant step towards becoming relevant in the US market. The idealist in me hopes that Ssangyong can make a tremendous impression in the US market when the Tivoli and the Korando arrive in 2020.

Having Mahindra in the fold has really helped turn Ssangyong’s fortunes around and it’s evident in the way the vehicles are being developed these days. Take a look at the 2015 Tivoli and it actually looks good. Even the company’s recent concepts have been a massive step up from what the company was releasing a decade ago. So yes, there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about Ssangyong’s future in the U.S, now that it has the backing of an industry giant like Mahindra helping it to break down barriers.

That said, the realist in me is anxious about what Ssangyong can do when it hits the US market. Choi isn’t understating the fact that the US crossover/SUV market is as competitive as it’s going to get in the industry. It’s no joke at all. If you’re a company like Ssangyong that’s entering a market with so many crossover and SUV options, you’re going to have a tough time convincing customers to pick your models when they can opt for more established models. That’s the challenge Ssangyong will be facing in the US. It’s not just about Hyundai and Kia anymore. It’s also going to be about Toyota, Honda, General Motors, Ford, and all the other brands that are competing in the market.

Here’s to hoping that Ssangyong has the patience, determination, and fortitude to see the struggles it’s going to go through.

Read our full review on the 2015 SsangYong Tivoli here.

Source: Automotive News

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