Enter The Dragons

SsangYong set to attack with new line of models

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Image taken from, (https://www.smotor.com/en/med_cen/news/1225593_13941.html, illus)

 

Korean car maker SsangYong (translated as ‘2 Dragons’) have signalled they are ready to step up and breathe fire back into the automotive industry with a whole host of new models that will give the UK automotive market something to worry about.

Going back 6 years during the global economic crisis and you would have believed that the company’s existence was doomed, as it quickly became public knowledge that the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009. [1] SsangYong, the smallest Korean car manufacturer was struggling financially due to a steep drop in sales as demand plunged and credit had dried out. Reports of strikes from the company’s workers were widespread as rumours of the company not even being able to pay its employees became fact. News about the struggling company’s desperation to seek investors became common with the NY Times reporting,

“Manufacturers around the world have suffered greatly from shrinking demand, but some have received enormous government support… Because of its relatively small size and its Chinese ownership, SsyangYong has failed to stir the kind of public sympathy that giant domestic companies in trouble had elicited from the public.”  [2]

SsangYong was indeed on the brink of complete self-destruction until the most unlikely turn of events.

2011 saw the Mumbai based Mahindra & Mahindra Limited (M&M), India’s largest maker of utility vehicles making a landmark move to became the company’s controlling share holder, breathing new life back into the brand known as the ‘2 Dragons.’

Today, SsangYong having had their fortunes turned around are continuing on the path of success having experienced an increase of global sales with a staggering 351% increase of sales being reported within the UK market alone in 2012. [3]

Current models such as the highly praised Korando and the long awaited Turismo have nonetheless sparked the interest of the automotive market, not to mention a whole range of brand new models set for the future.

The XIV-1 Concept car that was shown at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor show will be a direct competitor to the commercially successful Nissan Juke. Known by its dimensions as a ‘baby SUV’ the XIV-1 Concept will be released in early 2015.

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Image taken from, (SsangYong XIV-1 concept shows brand still has a CUV pulsehttp://www.autoblog.com/2011/09/14/ssangyong-xiv-1-concept-frankfurt-2011/, illus)

 

The SIV-1 Concept will replace the highly regarded Korando. The mid – sized SUV will look into following the same success as the Korando as being one of SsangYong’s most successful production vehicles.

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Image taken from, (SsangYong SIV-1 Concept looks like a future car: 2013 Genevahttp://www.rushlane.com/ssangyong-siv-1-concept-looks-1268579.html#Ugiy6GfssHYIMlBH.99, illus)

 

Finally, a larger SUV will be introduced late in 2016 to replace the Rexton. [4]

With this new model line up, SsangYong is certainly giving the market ‘another option’ and in doing so is nipping at the heels of South Korean car giants, Kia and Hyundai.

By Parvinder Perry Singh

 

References

[1]: Pauline Renaud, SsangYong motor files for bankruptcy protectionhttp://www.financierworldwide.com/article.php?id=3058, Jan 2009

[2]: Choe Sang-Hun and Bettina Wassener, Global crisis casualty: SsangYong Motor files for bankruptcy in South Korea, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/09/business/worldbusiness/09iht-auto.3.19229368.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0, Jan 2009

[3]: CJ HubbardUK car sales 2012 winners and losers, http://cars.uk.msn.com/features/uk-car-sales-2012-winners-and-losers?page=16, Jan 2013

[4]: Vicky Parrott, SsangYong lines up new SUV model rangehttp://www.whatcar.com/car-news/ssangyong-lines-new-suv-model-range/1202032, July 2013

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