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SsangYong Motor Company, the 4th largest car producer in South Korea, is renowned primarily for the development of top-tier SUVs as well as vans, trucks, buses & luxury units. Nonetheless, it is also famous for the best-in-class technologies which ensure the ultimate safety and comfort while driving. The company’s chief goal is to become the most influential Korean automaker. Let’s see what measures it takes to achieve this ambitious goal.
SsangYong Motor Company appeared in 1964 as a consequence of a merger of the two companies: Ha Dong-hwan Motor Workshop and Dongbang Motor Co. Yet, it was not until 1986 that the automaker took its current name; during the first 20 years of existence it was holding the name of Hadonghwan Motor Company. Right after the merger, the team has settled down to the designing of trucks, buses and jeeps for the US army.
In 1991 SsangYong signed an agreement on technological partnership with Daimler-Benz. The teamwork was mutually beneficial, as Benz has received a high-potential competitor in the booming SUV segment, while SsangYong could develop its own brand by using existing Mercedes networks. The result of the cooperation was the launch of Musso. Further on, the company continued employing Benz’s technology in the production of Istana, Korando (2nd gen), Kyron, Rexton, and Chairman H models.
In 2004 SAIC, Chinese car manufacturer, bought a controlling stake in SsangYong. However, in 2009 the Korean company was engaged into receivership, since it suffered a dramatic financial loss. The loss was followed by mass worker strikes who blamed SAIC of stealing hybrid technologies. The latter denied all allegations, but the automaker was yet transferred under the management of South Korean government.
A year later, General Motors made a huge investment in SsangYong to help it recover from bankruptcy; although, the deal was non-exclusive and did not allow the team to sell cars via private dealers. Thus, a few months later Indian Mahindra & Mahindra Limited acquired a 70% share of the struggling brand. This move was approved by South Korean Free Trade Commission.
SsangYong is known to have three large operations in and out its home country. Its key plant that produces the entire range of vehicles is located in Pyeongtaek, SK. The other two plants are situated in Russia (manufactures New Actyon, Rexton II, Actyon Sports) & Ukraine (Korando, Kyron and Rexton II).
Present-day lineup of SsangYong vehicles boasts a number of SUVs, pick-up trucks, vans, buses, and luxury solutions. The luxury Chairman W/H created a real stir in the market. Launched in 1997, the Chairman H has become the first exclusive car in Korea to feature a 7-speed automatic transmission. Its fresh modification (2008) the Chairman W is supposed to be among the leaders in the global luxury market.
To continue, Korando is probably the best known model in the SUV segment. In addition, it is the company’s first front-wheel drive monocoque unit, released in 1983. In 2010 the model was revived: it received a new design as well as modernized under-the-hood. The lineup of SUVs also boasts such best-sellers as Actyon, Kyron, Rexton, Rexton II, and Musso.
First shown at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, the e-XiV has become SsangYong’s true pride. This range-extended electric vehicle draws power as from gasoline engine generator so from a 14kW lithium-ion battery. The pair is called to provide a total kilometer range of about 400 km. The model is able to cover approximately 60 km in electric mode solely – that is quite enough for a daily use. Besides, it takes only 150 minutes for the battery to be fully charged.
SsangYong team believes that nature is the biggest source of inspiration. Hence, it tries to implement this belief into the production process. In absolutely all designs, the company sticks to three fundamentals: refined dignity, vibrant rhythms and youthful dynamism. By satisfying these three demands, it’s possible to maximize the delight of interaction between drivers and their cars.
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