Shown above is the Torres sports utility vehicle of SsangYong Motor. The firm hopes that the new model will financially boost the cash-hungry carmaker. Photo courtesy of SsangYong Motor

New owner promises to underpin cash-hungry carmaker

South Korean automaker SsangYong Motor released its new sports utility vehicle, dubbed the Torres, this week. Its sticker price starts from 27.4 million won ($21,000).

SsangYong hopes that the new offloading mid-sized SUV will be able to financially support the money-losing automaker, which found a new owner in late June.

SsangYong said that pre-orders of the Torres topped 30,000 units, which surpassed the 2021 sales of the carmaker’s best-selling model Rexton Sports.

“Experts and journalists come up with good reviews on the Torres. We expect that the sales of the Torres will be quite strong both at home and abroad,” a SsangYong spokesman said.

SsangYong plans to introduce the new automobile to the global market in November, and the first target country will be Chile.

In fact, the name Torres has something to do with Chile _ it is named after the Torres del Paine National Park in the country, which was recognized as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.

SsangYong was originally owned by India’s Mahindra & Mahindra. Late last month, however, Korea’s KG Group acquired a 58.85% stake in the automaker.

KG Group, whose business ranges from chemical to media and steel, joined hands with financial investors, including Cactus PE, for the contract.

KG Chemical CEO Kwak Jae-sun took part in the event of launching the Torres to promise the group’s strong support for SsangYong.

“With the collaboration with KG Group, I will make SsangYong a great company,” he said.

Observers pointed out that the Torres needs more momentum to chalk up an eventual success.

“The point is whether or not motorists continue to purchase the Torres. The presales were better than expected, though,” Prof. Kim Pil-soo at Daelim University said.

“In addition, SsangYong is required to unveil electric versions of the Torres. I am not sure if it can secure enough funds to do so.”

The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.