New models drive SsangYong to best Q1 ever

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New models drive SsangYong to best Q1 ever

SsangYong Motor reported improved earnings for the first quarter this year compared to the same period a year earlier, posting record revenues and decreased operating losses due to the popularity of newly released models.

The automaker said Monday in a statement that first-quarter revenue rose 15.4 percent on year to its highest-ever for the quarter at 933.2 billion won ($805.4 million).

Meanwhile, operating loss was at 27.8 billion won in the period, making it the ninth-consecutive quarterly operating loss by the company since the first quarter of 2017.

It explained that earnings still improved as operating loss decreased from the previous year when it recorded 31.3 billion won. Net loss was at 26.1 billion won in the quarter compared to 34.2 billion won from the previous year.

The company credited the release of new models such as the Rexton Sports Khan pickup truck and the Korando sport-utility vehicle for the improvement.

Sales volume for its vehicles in the January to March period increased 13.7 percent from the same period last year, at 34,851 units.

Domestic sales for the quarter were at the highest in 16 years at 27,350 units, accounting for nearly 80 percent of the total. Exports increased 12.4 percent to 7,501 vehicles.

SsangYong, a subsidiary under India-based Mahindra & Mahindra, has been working toward making a turnaround and has vowed to improve its situation with new releases.

The popularity of its small-sized Tivoli SUV helped the company become the country’s third-largest automaker by sales last year - for the first time in 15 years - and it hopes to strengthen that position.

SsangYong plans to sell 30,000 of the latest Korando cars in the domestic market this year.

“We expect that the new product lineup will help us expand global sales in new markets with high potential and help improve our profitability,” said SsangYong Motor CEO Yea Byung-tae in a statement on Monday.

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