While their operations in Malaysia has ceased since 2016, SsangYong Motors continues to be available in selected markets, such as the UK. The struggling South Korean automaker has been treading on a tightrope and the company has been under court receivership since April this year as its parent, Mahindra & Mahindra failed to secure a buyer for its 75% stake.
SsangYong Motors is nonetheless moving forward with the rollout of new products and utilising their expertise in the SUV segment. As the automotive landscape is moving towards full electrification (EV), SsangYong Motor is also joining the bandwagon too.
The X200 design concept is based on the company’s new design philosophy “Power by Toughness” and follows the recently announced J100 mid-sized SUV that will be an EV.
SsangYong Motor is no stranger to quirky designs. It is great to see the company bringing back some distinctiveness for the brand, in particular the Korando compact SUV that was available in the late 90s. The X200 showcases a strong identity to communicate a powerful and modern SUV while drawing on the inherited values and its authentic heritage.
When placed side-by-side, the X200 features the core styling of the old Korando via the circular headlamps over a narrow front fascia, a large and upright windscreen and very-pronounced wheel arches.
Lee Kang, head of SsangYong Design Centre said, “We have re-interpreted our future design vision and product philosophy by drawing heavily on our unique heritage. With the forthcoming J100 and X200 models, we have drawn a line in the sand in terms of design, and everything from this point forward will follow this new brand design direction.”
While the larger J100 will be an EV, the smaller X200 will have a range of low emission powertrains.
An existing Korando with an electric powertrain called Emotion will fill the gap first before the arrival of newer models. However, the global semiconductor chip shortage is also affecting the small automaker in building up inventories for its European launch in Q4 2021.
As for the arrival of the new owner, a final bidder is only expected to be chosen in September and hopefully can keep the introduction of the J100 on track for a 2022 launch.