South Korean utility vehicle maker Ssangyong Motor Company has driven into the Indian market by launching its premium sports utility vehicle Rexton. Ssangyong entered India under the patronage of its parent Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), which will manufacture Rexton at its Chakan plant and sell it through its sales network.
Rexton is priced at Rs. 17.7 lakh and the top end will cost Rs. 19.7 lakh. The premium SUV market in India - the Rs. 15lakh-Rs 25 lakh segment - has a monthly volume size of 2,000 units at present.
The segment leader Toyota Fortuner sells 1,300 units while five others - Skoda Yeti, Honda CRV, Ford Endeavour, Hyundai Santa Fe and Mitsubishi Outlander - share rest of the market.
M&M has earmarked a production facility with 5,000 unit annual capacity in a single shift at Chakan plant to build Rexton.
Pawan Goenka, president, auto division, M&M, said capacity will not be a constraint and the company is ready to expand production depending on the demand. Goenka, who became chairman of Ssangyong following M&M's acquisition of Ssangyong, said Rexton has 22% local content while many key components are from Korea.
Ssangyong, with active support from its parent M&M, hopes India will turn out to be its second largest export market in the next few years.
Ssangyong sells 33,000 units per year in Russia, its largest market.
Export accounts for 65% of Ssangyong's total volume and it is on course to achieve its sales target of 120,000 unit in 2012.
In November 2010, M&M had signed a definitive agreement with Ssangyong to acquire 70% stake in the ailing South Korean automaker at a total cost of $463 million (about Rs. 2,105 crore).