As part of its future strategy, Ssangyong UK boss Paul Williams says that the manufacturer will move toward electrification, with the first EV likely to be the Tivoli.
Speaking to Autocar, Williams said that there were battery-power Tivoli compact SUVs currently in testing, and alluded that partnering with a bigger firm with better experience in EVs would probably be best for the relatively small Korean company.
“Ssangyong has a strategy for hybrids and EVs, and the next generation of models will reflect this. I have seen the plans for electric vehicles, and we will see them on the market around 2019, 2020,” Williams remarked.
The future seems bright for Ssangyong. The next three years should see three new models come to market, with some of them (if not all of them) bearing the potential to offer a hybrid or electric drivetrain. A rival to the Nissan Qashqai, shown in concept form in the shape of the SIV-2, will likely be one of those new electrified vehicles, but that shouldn’t be making its market debut until 2019.
Mahindra, the Indian parent company of Ssangyong, recently unveiled its e2o electric city car, and it’s believed that the technology and expertise it acquired in building the e2o will benefit Ssangyong’s EV strategy. But that may not be enough. “When you’re small, you can't afford to take those risks [associated with investment in EV tech],” Williams said.
“Nissan and Renault have invested a lot, for example, but had to wait a long time to see a return. Ssangyong could tie up with another brand, like BMW,” concluded Williams. He then went on to say that while hybrids are in the firm’s immediate future, its long term goals are distinctly focused on EVs.
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