South Korea
Mahindra (India) - 70.03%
Location Headquarters and main plant: Pyungtaek
Sales figures
2016: 155,844 units
2015: 144,764 units
2014: 141,047 units
2013: 145,649 units
2012: 120,717 units
2011: 113,000 units
2008: 92,665 units
2007: 136,000 units
2006: 121,196 units
2005: 141,306 units
2004: 135,600 units

Introduction Ssangyong is Korea’s smallest car maker and a specialist of off-roaders. Thanks to the technology transferred from Mercedes-Benz, it developed some good off-roaders from zero within a few years. Also don’t forget the Chairman luxurious sedan, Korea’s first decent luxurious car.

Previously owned by Daewoo from 1998 and then SAIC of China from 2004, Ssangyong went into receivership again in early 2009.
Brief History
The history of Ssangyong started in 1954 when Hadongwahn Motor was founded. It was later renamed to Dong-A Motor. The company became a manufacturer of commercial trucks, fire engines and other special purpose vehicles during the 1970s.

In the early '80s, Dong-A acquired SUV maker Keowha, which made 4WD offroaders licensed from Jeep. The merged company was renamed to Ssangyong in 1986, since then it concentrated on SUVs.

1993 Musso

The turning point was in 1991, when it signed a technical cooperation agreement with Mercedes-Benz for transferring its engine technology and helped it to develop light commercial vehicles. This resulted in many Ssangyong cars and SUVs powered by Mercedes straight-six. The Musso of 1993 and Korando of 1996 successfully opened the gate of export. Later, Mercedes even helped Ssangyong to develop its first passenger car - the Chairman luxurious limousine - based on its E-class.

To produce the Mercedes engines, Ssangyong built its second plant in Changwon. Aggressive expansion led to substantial debt and its eventual bankruptcy during the 1998 Asian financial crisis. Then it was received by Daewoo. However, in 2000 Daewoo itself also went into receivership. Ssangyong, benefited by its strong basis in SUV business and the better prospect of global SUV market, received support from its creditors and spun off from Daewoo.

1997 Chairman

In 2004, Chinese car maker SAIC acquired controlling stakes in Ssangyong and became its new owner. Nevertheless, its financial condition did not improve. Having lost US$500 million in 2008, SAIC called for surrender and sent its cash-strapped Korean subsidiary to bankruptcy protection. In 2010, it was acquired by Indian truck maker Mahindra.

Copyright© 1997-2017 by Mark Wan
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