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SsangYong struggling to gain foothold in Australian market

SsangYong’s Musso pick-up is currently the brand’s best-selling model, with 60 new registrations in July.

SsangYong is struggling to make significant headway into Australia’s tough, shrinking market since relaunching as a factory-backed operation in December last year.

For the first time since the relaunch, SsangYong has released sales data in July’s VFACTS report, revealing that just 121 new registrations were recorded last month across its four-model line-up.

CarsGuide understands SsangYong's year-to-date tally sits at 608 units, tracking at an average of about 87 sales a month.

The South Korean brand had set a 3500-unit 2019 year-end target at the relaunch last year, which was subsequently revised down to 3000 at the middle of the year.

At its current pace, SsangYong is on track to secure about 1042 units by the end of 2019, however plans are in place to boost the brand's visibility and consideration.

A spokesperson told CarsGuide that the SsangYong's biggest hurdle to overcome is awareness, and that in the second half of 2019, the brand will push its exposure with television commercials and a larger social media presence.

Also key to the brand’s growth will be the introduction of the mid-size Korando SUV in October, as well as the updated Tivoli launching at the same time.

SsangYong will also roll out an Australian-derived suspension tune for its short- and long-wheelbase Musso pick-up, which will be fitted from the factory in South Korea.

Next year, SsangYong is set to release a new people mover and another mid-size crossover, while plans for electrification are also on the horizon.

Last month, SsangYong Australia bolstered its team with the appointments of Steve Maciver as national marketing manager, John Taylor as PR, and product planning manager and Steve Dimitrovski as digital and brand manager.

Though a complete breakdown of sales figures is unavailable, CarsGuide understands SsangYong's best-selling model is the Musso ute.

Despite the introduction of the Musso XLV in May this year, and the unique selling points of being the only South Korean-built pick-up on the market and the only pick-up with a full-time seven year/unlimited kilometre warranty, the Musso nameplate tallied just 60 units in July.

The mechanically related Rexton large SUV was SsangYong’s next best-selling model, with 36 new registrations in July, while the Tivoli and Tivoli XLV small SUVs amassed a combined 25 units last month.