SsangYong to preview ‘game-changing’ Nissan Juke rival at Paris

SsangYongXIV-AirSsangYong will reveal the final thinly-disguised previews of its forthcoming X100 Nissan Juke rival at the Paris Motor Show 2014 – and if you take away the more far-flung styling details of the XIV-Air and XIV-Adventure, a spokesman has admitted to us, you have close to the final version that will arrive in UK showrooms from summer 2015.

The X100 is going to be a gamechanger for SsangYong in the UK, believe company insiders. “Volumes are going to grow significantly,” said our contact – a bigger challenge may actually be sourcing the cars to meet demand, rather than having to push sales.

Confidence here comes from pricing that is expected to be extremely competitive. SsangYong is, they explained, a brand focused on value, so the X100 will be priced sharply alongside the Nissan Juke; the British-built Japanese car costs from £13,420.

The SsangYong has the added draw of a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.

SsangYong will offer both 1.6-litre petrol and 1.6-litre turbodiesel engines; as it’s an all-new model launch, the X100 will be one of the first compact crossovers to offer Euro 6 emissions compliance.

It should also be good to drive, said our insider: it’s the first SsangYong to be jointly developed with Indian giant Mahindra: both want the new compact crossover to be a statement of intent. It should be fully competitive with established rivals such as the Juke, Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008, we were told.

SsangYong: ‘house in order’

SsangYong has been preparing for the X100’s launch in the UK for several years now. Its dealer network is now up to 60 retailers, with a medium term target of 75: the firm hasn’t been seeking growth at all costs though, with some dealers being replaced by new additions to the network as quality retailers are targeted.

All dealers are aware of the opportunities offered by the Juke-rivalling new SsangYong and most are upping their game accordingly as the brand evolves from a retailer of quirky SUVs and MPVs into a higher volume general brand.

As our contact pointed out though, SsangYong has already been growing fast: registrations to date in 2014 are up a hefty 154 per cent, making it the third-fastest growing brand in the country. The X100 is SsangYong’s first new car in five years: if it can achieve such growth with established models, all eyes will be watching to see what it can do with an all-new one…

The SsangYong XIV-Air and XIV-Adventure will be revealed at the Paris Motor Show 2014 on 2 October; we’ll be bringing you live coverage of the international show all next week.

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