Mahindra: SsangYong develops electric SUVs in the US by 2020

SsangYong Motor will develop electric SUV in the United States by 2020. Board of commissioners says it will place more priority than in China. Mahindra & Mahindra as the largest shareholder of SsangYong said plans to expand investment include in the United States, Russia and Iran.

Tinuku Mahindra SsangYong develops electric SUVs in the US by 2020

South Korea and China's diplomatic disputes over the US anti-missile system have changed SsangYong's policy to build manufacturing bases outside of China. Pawan Goenka, managing director of Mahindra Group and chairman of the SsangYong board, said on Wednesday that SsangYong's next target is the United States.

"We certainly need to develop two or three good markets for SsangYong outside of Korea, China is one of the possible markets, but not the only one," Goenka said.

SsangYong is in the process of seeking approval by the board to enter the US. The company will make additional investments to make inroads into other markets and will be done apart from plans announced last year of 1 trillion won (US$ 889.3 million) for new product development.

"We are in talks with South Korean battery manufacturers and are working to sign long term contracts soon. We have two or three Korean manufacturers. We might announce in the next two months," Goenka said.

Earlier, SsangYong's CEO, Choi Johng-sik, said the company was looking for a plan B as a result of tense diplomatic ties between South Korea and China. Johng-sik said it is unlikely that the Chinese government approved the operational plan.

Last year, SsangYong signed a letter of intent with China's Shaanxi Automobile Group to build a new plant in Xi'an Economic and Technological Development Zone in Shaanxi province which includes a machinery factory and a research and development center.

Mahindra Group acquired SsangYong from Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. in 2011 amounted to 522.5 billion won to 70 percent of shares. In 2013, Mahindra raised its capital in SsangYong by 80 billion won to increase its stake by almost 3 percent.