By Ulysses Ang
A BRAND-NEW retail concept brings two Asian brands under one roof to serve customers who seek vehicles whether it’s for business or pleasure: Auto Asia. With the Auto Asia retail concept, Korean SUV specialist SsangYong and one of the largest Chinese auto brands, Changan, join together to offer customers a wide product line that covers more than 40% of the local market by model.
“When a buyer walks into an Auto Asia dealership, one can choose from a wide range of products from SUVs, pickup trucks, MPVs, or small trucks for both the family and one’s business. And they will get the same brand of sales and after-sales service that puts the customer first,” says Japheth Castillo, president of SsangYong Berjaya Motor Philippines, Inc. and Berjaya Auto Asia, Inc., the newly appointed distributor of Changan vehicles.
The first Auto Asia dealership is located along the National Road, Purok 3, Pulong Sta. Cruz, Sta. Rosa, Laguna, with a facility that measures 1,300sqm in size. Aside from a well-lit display area, there is an 8-vehicle service bay for both brands.
Marking the milestone, Auto Asia launched two new offerings for SsangYong and two for Changan.
The fiercely fought 7-seater midsize SUV segment finds a strong new entry in the Rexton. Designed first as an SUV (unlike its competitors which are all pickup truck-based), it has the longest wheelbase (2,855mm) and widest body (1,950mm) in its class, making for an extremely roomy cabin and plush ride.
Powered by a 2.2-liter diesel motor, the Rexton puts out 181hp and 420Nm, and has a 7-speed automatic. It’s also available in either a 4×2 or 4×4 variant.
The Rexton’s list of standard equipment are impressive: leather seats, power driver’s seat, LED interior lighting, dual-zone climate control with rear vents, and an 8-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 4×4 ups that with HID headlights, 20-inch alloy wheels, ventilated seats, power front passenger’s seat, moonroof, power tailgate, a Super Vision instrument cluster with a 7-inch LCD display, and six air bags.
The Rexton is priced at P1,730,000 for the 4×2 A/T and P2,230,000 for the 4×4 A/T.
Meanwhile, the Musso Grand is SsangYong’s definitive answer for buyers who want their pickup truck to do more. Completing the Musso range, the Musso Grand gains 310mm of extra length, making it the longest one-ton pickup truck in the market today (5,405mm). The extra length is all concentrated at the bed where it can accommodate 1,434 liters of cargo.
The Musso’s coil spring rear suspension is replaced with traditional leaf springs on the Musso Grand. This pushes up the payload capacity to 1,025kgs from the Musso’s 850kgs. And with this move, SsangYong is the first manufacturer in the country to offer two rear suspension setups depending on the pickup truck the buyer will choose.
Like the short wheelbase Musso, the Musso Grand is powered by the 2.2-liter e-XDI engine making 181hp and 420Nm of torque. This engine can be mated to a choice of a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic as well as 4×2 and 4×4 drivetrains.
Further pushing the luxury envelope in the pickup truck class, the Musso Grand 4×4 is the only one that offers a moonroof. This is complimented by premium brown ventilated seats, a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, front and rear A/C vents, and even Active Rollover Protection with Hill Descent Control and Stability Control.
The Musso Grand is available in three variants: the 4×2 M/T at P1,180,000, the 4×2 A/T at P1,230,000, and the 4×4 A/T at P1,650,000.
For Changan, there’s the Honor S 7-seater MPV and Star Truck small truck. Both vehicles are targeted at clients looking for a ride for the family or for their small- to medium-scale business that won’t break the bank.
The Honor S goes for just P585,000 yet offers a value-for-money proposition with its bevy of features and specifications that surpass its price range. The 7-passenger MPV is powered by a 1.5-liter gasoline motor with variable valve timing that puts out 105hp and 145Nm, mated to a 5-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels. It boasts of features such as a 10-inch Android-based infotainment system. There’s also an option for an 8-seater configuration.
Meanwhile, entrepreneurs looking for an affordable yet quality ride can check out the Changan Star Truck. Available in either Cab and Chassis, and Dropside body styles as well as one with an aluminum box, the small truck gets its power from a 1.2-liter gasoline engine with 97hp and 119Nm of torque, paired with a 5-speed manual driving the rear wheels. While its primary purpose is to haul cargo, driver and passenger still get a 2-DIN CD player, as well as 3-point seat belts to keep them entertained and safe while on the go. The Star Truck retails for P435,000 for the Cab and Chassis, P455,000 for the Dropside body style, and P488,000 for the variant with a built-in aluminum box.
Completing the Auto Asia concept is their new Mobile Service Van. As its name suggests, it will provide periodic maintenance service to customers within a 100-kilometer radius from the dealership. Furthermore, SsangYong vehicles are covered by a 5-year/100,000km warranty with a 3-year/60,000km free PMS service for all its vehicles. For Changan, the warranty differs between models, depending if it’s a commercial or passenger vehicle.
The Auto Asia dealership concept will open in key areas around the country bringing the Korean SUV specialist, SsangYong, and one of China’s top automotive brands, Changan, together for Filipino buyers looking for vehicles either for business or for pleasure.
Auto Asia Sta. Rosa can be contacted through the following numbers: 63 917-804-8838 (sales), 63 917-806-5150 (service), or e-mail email@example.com.