South Korean automaker Ssangyong says that it will finally enter the electric vehicle segment, but not until 2020 when its first BEV launches.
Ssangyong UK boss Paul Williams says that the automaker is in the testing phase with its first electric car, a battery-powered version of its Tivoli. Williams stated:
“Ssangyong has a strategy for hybrids and EVs, and the next generation of models will show this, I have seen the plans for electric vehicles and we will see them on the market around 2019 or 2020.”
In addition to an electric Tivoli, Ssangyong is working on a BEV production version of its SIV-2 concept, which is being hailed as a Nissan Qashqai competitor. This electric model is expected to be out around 2019 or 2020 too.
Ssangyong’s parent company Mahindra has been in the EV segment for quite some time now with its tiny e20 city car, but Ssangyong is hoping to partner up with another company in an effort to electrify its vehicles (most of which are SUVs). Qutoing Williams:
“When you’re small, you can’t afford to take those risks [associated with investment in EV tech].”
“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.”
Regardless of who the automaker partners up with, Williams knows one thing is for certain…all-electric vehicles are the focus in the longer term.