Korando gas model orders taken

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Korando gas model orders taken


SsangYong Motor’s all-new Korando SUV gasoline model. [SSANGYONG MOTOR]

SsangYong Motor started taking preorders for its new gasoline model of the Korando as it strives to recover sales and deepen its reputation as an SUV-specialized automaker.

The Korean unit of Indian carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra said in a statement Thursday that the new Korando gasoline turbo model will be equipped with a 1.5-liter turbo gasoline engine and achieves up to 28.6 kilogram-meters (207 pound-feet) in torque and 170 horsepower.

Mahindra & Mahindra owns 72.85 percent of SsangYong.

By officially introducing the gasoline version to the local market, SsangYong is seeking to appeal to three-member households looking to buy their first SUVs and to boost its sales numbers. According to Statistics Korea, 78 percent of Korean households had three or fewer members last year.

The automaker has been struggling in recent days due to weak demand at home and abroad. SsangYong sold 10,498 vehicles last month, down 17 percent from 12,628 units a year earlier, from weak exports and sales of its SUV models, like the Tivoli and the G4 Rexton.

The Korean unit’s sales from January to July this year reached 78,687 units, down 1.1 percent from 79,576 posted during the same period last year.

The automaker halted production its factory in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi, for four days last month to manage its production volume.

SsangYong said Monday that the new gasoline-powered Korando to be officially launched later this month will be key in recovering its disappointing performance.

The four-door gasoline model is also equipped with an intelligent adaptive cruise control system, rear collision prevention system and extra airbags installed to prevent knee injuries in the event of an accident.

The gasoline model starts at 22.46 million won ($18,900) for the cheapest trim, and the most expensive trim is priced at 27.45 million won. Depending on the trim, the diesel version is around 1.9 million won more expensive, SsangYong added.

BY KO JUN-TAE [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]
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