SsangYong Motors UK has said that it is “creating a new type of retail offering” to take its products to potential customers inside the M25, where it is currently under-represented by franchisees.
The Korean car brand is launching SsangYong Metro, what it refers to as a ‘hybrid’ dealer model, which amalgamates a traditional car dealership with a virtual concierge service.
Customers are able to request an accompanied test drive with a SsangYong Metro brand expert, to be delivered to their home or workplace, at a time convenient to them.
They will also benefit from a full mobile servicing programme as part of the SsangYong Metro service.
Nick Laird, managing director at SsangYong Motors UK, said; “SsangYong Metro is a very exciting project for SsangYong Motors UK.
“We are deliberately creating a new type of retail offering in a location where dealerships are limited, and premises are extremely expensive or hard to find.
“It’s a step towards online retailing, however we still strongly believe in the traditional dealer model - we know that our consumers still require personal support and advice.”
SsangYong has conitnued to expand its retail network at a rapid pace in 2019, but many new additions have come in rural areas, with Rogate, in Petersfield, Hampshire, and Seeker UK in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, among its new openings.
Laird insists that the new SsangYong Metro concept has noy been put together "to replace dealers", stating instead that it is "an alternative type of car dealer".
He added: "It’s imperative for us to have a presence in the metropolitan areas around the UK, starting with London, for when we launch the new pure-electric Korando, but it’s also vital for other models in our range, such as the new range of petrol Korando crossovers that are due imminently in the UK and our Musso pick-up.”
The new SsangYong Metro service echoes the Mazda MyWay service, which was launched back in November 2015 before being rolled out to certain participating retail partners in other urban sales locations last summer.
David Joslin, who is the retail manager at SsangYong Metro, said: “We are delighted to utilise our experience to launch this new programme and welcome SsangYong to the group.
“As an emerging brand, it’s difficult for SsangYong to gain a foothold in the London area due to limited real estate and the high costs involved.
“The service we provide will help the brand to break into cold territories where it has historically had low or no dealer representation but more importantly, will ensure convenience for the end-user which is key when people have busy lives in a busy city. The SsangYong Metro turnkey is a perfect solution.”