This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Ssangyong Suvs - Luxury Gets Shot in the Arm

With a full range of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) consisting of Rexton, Kyron, Actyon, and Actyon Sports, the SsangYong brand is set to carve a niche for itself in the luxury segment of the Nigerian auto market, writes OLAOLU OLUSINA

There is no doubt that the SsangYong brand of vehicles may soon carve a niche for itself in the Nigerian auto market. The recent acquisition of exclusive dealership franchise for the brand in Nigeria by Stallion Motors is also a pointer to this. With the new franchise, Stallion Motors will be responsible for the marketing, sales and after sales activities of SsangYong brand in the country.

But the journey to the present state was not all that too easy for Korea's fourth largest auto manufacturer. As an archetypal replica of Mercedes-Benz, SsangYong actually adapted Mercedes Benz technology in 1991 after the company brokered a skill partnership acquisition deal with Daimler-Benz to develop its Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) using Mercedes-Benz know-how.

SsangYong was to later leverage on this influence to build its infrastructure while utilising the existing Mercedes-Benz network to raise the profile of its evolving presence in the competitive SUV market.

However, as a veritable pioneer automaker, SsangYong initiated the era of four-wheel drive vehicles in the 1980s when it independently developed Musso and Korando - Korea's most enduring SUV brands in the global market. Today, SsangYong has established itself as leader of SUVs by building a full line-up of SUVs consisting of Rexton, Kyron, Actyon, and Actyon Sports.

The icing on the cake for the evolving automaker is SsangYong's Chairman W luxury sedan which is currently rated as Korea's new sensation in the luxury segment. Interestingly, 'Chairman W' is Korea's first luxury vehicle with V8 5000cc engine and a 7-speed automatic transmission which compares with other leading luxury cars around the world.

SsangYong Motors has also demonstrated its commitment to the advancement of eco-friendly diesel technology through the development of a sophisticated, world-class common rail engine to strengthen its global competitive edge by producing environment-friendly, small eXDi200 engines that conform to the Euro5 standards. This is in addition to the company's recent efforts to develop Euro6 compliant engines.

SsangYong SUVs is also sold through 1,250 sales networks in over 96 countries and is actively entering the global market by establishing strong and viable local bases in major markets, including Nigeria.

The SsangYong models currently available in Nigeria include Rexton, Kyron and Actyon Sports. The Korando is expected in the country early next year. A notable highlight among the models from SsangYong is the Actyon Sports Pick-up 4WD, expected to interest those seeking solutions for haulage and other commercial uses. The new Actyon Sports Pick-up is available in three variants, namely the 4WD Manual Transmission ( MT), 4WD MT with ABS+ABG and 2WD Manual Transmission.

Speaking at the unveiling of the SsangYong range of vehicles in Lagos last Saturday, Marketing Director, SsangYong Nigeria, Mr. Jatin Nadkarni, said that Stallion Motors was committed to creating a niche for SsangYong in Nigeria, taking advantage of the worldwide appeal the brand holds.

He disclosed that Stallion Motors was working towards generating consistent demand for SsangYong in Nigeria and that it planned to impress prospective customers with the powerful technological affiliation SsangYong enjoys with Mercedes Benz.

He added that to ensure customer and brand loyalty for SsangYong, Stallion Motors would be offering fresh incentives that include free maintenance package of two years / 60,000 kilometres (whichever comes first) to all customers that purchase SsangYong vehicle from now till December 31 . He said in addition, Stallion would also offer three years / 100,000 kilometres warranty on all SsangYong models.

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