Wednesday, August 24, 2016
SsangYong Tivoli is Much Better than Ford EcoSport
Mr. Young Han Song, SsangYong’s Executive Managing Director is one straight talking corporate executive. After forging a partnership with SsangYong Berjaya Motor Philippines (SBMP) in January of this year, the partnership is starting to bear fruit with the local launch of four models: Korando, Rodius, Tivoli, and Tivoli XLV.
Among the four models launched in the Philippine market, Mr. Song is particularly upbeat about the Tivoli, SsangYong’s B-segment crossover. He credits this bullish attitude towards the Tivoli because of the increasing preference of Filipino buyers toward crossovers and SUVs. It’s a fact reiterated by Mr. David Macasadia, SBMP’s Managing Director who said that the small SUV segment is growing at more than 30 percent year-on-year.
Zeroing in on the segment’s best-seller, the Ford EcoSport, Mr. Song is says that the Tivoli offers more than its American counterpart, particularly on the area of design.
Citing the huge strides that SsangYong has done thanks to its new “Nature Born 3-Motion” design philosophy, Mr. Song says the Tivoli has the sporty and aggressive styling that buyers, particular first-time car buyers crave for.
This is a trend already seen in SsangYong’s home country where 30 percent of first-time car buyers below the age of 30 flock straight to the Tivoli. Despite stiff competition, it’s currently Korea’s best-selling compact SUV selling 45,021 units last year compared to the Renault-Samsung QM3 (24,560) and Chevrolet Trax (12,727).
In SsangYong’s biggest overseas market, Europe, the Tivoli is also the brand’s best-selling nameplate, overtaking the Korando compact SUV.
Apart from styling, the Tivoli also boasts of SsangYong’s next-generation powerplants: an house designed 1.6-liter gasoline and diesel. The e-XGi gasoline engine found in the standard Tivoli boasts of 126 horsepower and 156 Nm of torque while the e-XDi diesel engine in the Tivoli XLV has 115 horsepower and 300 Nm of torque. They can both be mated to an Aisin-sourced 6-speed automatic with shift responses “as fast as a dual clutch automatic”.
Developed as a strategic global model (the first one developed after SsangYong’s acquisition by the Mahindra & Mahindra Group), the Tivoli serves as a cornerstone in SsangYong’s turnaround plan. The Tivoli alone is expected to achieve 100,000 units of annual production for the brand.
Whether or not you agree with Mr. Song’s statements, the Tivoli is already doing its job of turning the company around. Not only is SsangYong raising its domestic sales target thanks to increasing popularity, but it also helped improve SsangYong’s sales to a 17.5 percent jump year-on-year with a profit of US$ 17.7 million. All in all, 64,000 Tivolis were sold globally, the best annual performance among the brand’s vehicle models.