SSANYGYONG is hoping to increase the size of its UK dealer network to 75 by the end of 2017, according to the company’s UK CEO.
In an interview with Car Dealer Magazine, Paul Williams said: ‘We have 58 dealers at present, but we want 75 at the end of next year.’
The process has already begun, with new dealers coming on board next month, but Williams maintains that the target is not set in stone. That the dealer is the right ‘fit’ for the brand, he says, is the most important consideration.
‘It’s a broad target because we choose our dealers based on attitude,’ said Williams. ‘We have to improve the gene pool of dealers, so we have to work hard at dealer recruitment.
‘We’ll fill some open points by September, but there’s a third of the country we’re not selling to at all and we’ll inevitably lose some people as we grow.’
Growth is something the South Korean brand is becoming used to. Last year saw the company’s new-car registrations double for the second year in a row, and the company is on track for more than 50 per cent expansion in 2016.
Much of that growth has been fuelled by the Tivoli, which was released last summer and already accounts for around half the company’s sales, but Williams says the ‘Tivoli effect’ has led sales of every model in the portfolio to increase.
‘People now know who we are, where we’re from and what products we’ve got. As an example, people come in looking for a Tivoli, but they decide they want more space, or more towing ability, and they buy a Korando.’
With the Tivoli XLV estate just arriving in dealers and a new Rexton set to arrive this time next year, SsangYong’s growth could reasonably be expected to continue, but Williams remains pragmatic.
‘We’re pleased with the progress,’ he said. ‘It’s been meteoric growth, but that’s the plan. It’s easy to show big growth when you’re small – we’ve got to keep doing it.’
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