SsangYong Rexton
SsangYong Rexton debuted in IndaReuters

Mahindra and Mahindra on Wednesday brought the South Korean-manufactured Ssangyong Rexton to India with a price tag starting from ₹17.7 lakh in Mumbai.

The SsangYong Rexton SUV is the first product to hit the Indian automobile market after M&M  took over the South Korean firm at a time when the company saw insolvency. The Rexton launched in India comes in RX5 version with manual transmission and RX7 version with automatic transmission. The product will be manufactured at Mahindra's Chakan plant in India by using imported materials from South Korea.

"The launch of the SsangYong Rexton by Mahindra - the first premium product from our Ssangyong portfolio to be offered in India - is a proud moment in our automotive journey. For the Mahindra Group, the SsangYong Rexton represents our philosophy of 'Rise' in action as well as in thought, as it is an embodiment of a high end SUV offering for the discerning Indian consumer," said Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive & Farm Equipment Sectors, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. & Chairman, SsangYong Motor Company.

The third generation SsangYong Rexton is powered by 2.7 litre, 2696 cc five cylinder RX270XDi engine which generates 184 bhp power and 402Nm torque in the automatic transmission and 162 bhp and 340 Nm torque in manual transmission. It hosts technologies like touch screen 6-inch Infotainment System with GPS navigation, fully Automatic Climate Control system, memory function with three driver presets for driver's seat and ORVM, Electric sunroof with tilt/open function, cruise and audio controls on steering wheel, rain sensors and auto headlamps.

The safety features of Rexton SUV include Electronic Stability Program (ESP), airbags, anti-lock brake system, hill descent control and engine immobilizer. The car will be available in Satin White, Moondust Silver, Volcano Black and Opulent Purple colors. The RX5 version with manual transmission is priced at ₹ 17.67 lakhs and the RX7 version with automatic transmission is priced at ₹19.67 lakhs. Rexton will compete with Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and the Ford Endeavour.

At present Europe and Latin America are the two largest export markets of Ssangyong. With its debut to India, the company expects to make the country its second largest export destination.

"This is the best possible market for Ssangyong," said Yoo-Il Lee, Ssangyong's chief executive officer. "I am very confident that India will become Ssangyong's second-largest export market," he added.

The international brand made its debut in the country at a time when the SUV market is thriving. When the total sales of the car dropped down by 0.3 percent in April-September period, the sales of the Sports Utility Vehicles increased by 56 percent, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers said. In this regard, Mahindra alone saw a 28 percent growth in the sales volume of SUV against its last year sales. Mahindra's local plant has a capacity to build 5,000 units of Rexton every year.