Korean brand SsangYong plans to sell around 3500 cars and pick-ups this year, despite having only registered 615 vehicles in the first seven months of 2021.
Managing director Kevin Griffin told Company Car Today orders for the upcoming new Musso pick-up were currently outstripping supply, but he was aiming to bring more vehicles in to meet fleet demand.
He claimed new vehicle supply problems in the wider market are working to the firm’s advantage because those fleets that normally only dealt with larger brands were now talking to SsangYong.
“The advantage of having a smaller network is that we have a great relationship with our dealers so when a fleet needs, say, five Mussos, we can retrieve them from stock.
“The dealers know they’re losing the sale of that vehicle because we had taken back to sell it to someone else but they know we will replace it, and they also recognise that a fleet company having these out on the motorway, for example, is going to put the Musso out there and give them the ability to sell more vehicles.”
Griffin said most of the brand’s fleet business was still with those organisations with a framework agreement such as police, ambulance, councils and patrol agencies. However, he expected the introduction of SsangYong EVs, starting with the Korando e-Motion later this year, would open more fleet doors, particularly through salary sacrifice sales. SsangYong is planning three more EVs, including an electric pick-up, in the next few years.
“This year we expect to hit around 3500,” said Griffin (pictured). “The challenge we’ve got right now is we are outselling our targets. That’s causing us an issue because ordering time is three months in advance. We’ve just put the orders in to cover us for August, September, October and November. Our dealers are screaming for the stock.”
Griffin attributes the order rise to new or revised products such as the Musso and Rexton. However he also adds that the loss of Mitsubishi has led to a surge in interest for the Musso.
“Normally what happens when you order a boatload from Korea, is by the time the boat arrives you might have sold a third of them to the dealer network. Then over time you sell the rest. For the current boat, that has the new Musso on it, the dealers have ordered every vehicle off it.” Tristan Young