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Bright future dawns for Ssangyong in the UK

19th July 2011 Print
SsangYong Korando

The future of SsangYong as a global vehicle producer has recently been secured following a 70 per cent acquisition of the Korean company by Indian engineering conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra, and now the brand’s future in the UK is assured thanks to new investment in the importing company.
Led by Paul Williams, managing director of the current importer, Koelliker UK, the new business is to be called SsangYong Motor UK (SYMUK).  It has been created from the purchase of shares in Koelliker UK from the Italian based Gruppo Koelliker by the European automotive distribution company, Bassadone Automotive Group.  All employees of Koelliker UK will transfer to the new business with immediate effect.
While securing the importing and distribution rights for the UK, this major strategic move for SsangYong also means that the launch of the new Korando - the brand’s first entry into the all-important crossover segment - can proceed without delay, and the present network of 50 dealers expanded to 65.
“This is superb news for our dealers and customers who have been so loyal to the brand,” commented Mr Williams.  “Shipments of the new Korando, as well as 2012 specification Rexton 2 and Rodius models will begin to arrive within the next few weeks.
“In addition to the current model line up, SsangYong is actively working on a number of new products, including range extensions to Korando as well as an electric vehicle.  The first of these will be seen at the Frankfurt motor show in September.  See below.
“We have ambitious sales targets and aspirations for the brand in the UK.  We will continue to aim our four-wheel drive products at the caravan/trailer and rural markets, while the Korando crossover and its derivatives enable us to expand into the mainstream car market and fleet sector.  To this end we intend introducing a number of exciting marketing initiatives.”
SsangYong Motor UK will operate from the existing parts logistics centre in Luton and administration office in Fleet.
UK model line up
Korando - This all new crossover model which was designed in Europe by Giugiaro, will be available in three trim levels - S, ES and EX, the choice of two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, and manual and automatic transmission.  Prices will be confirmed at the launch, but expected to range from below £17,000 to around £23,000.
Rexton 2 - The seven seat Rexton 2 will be available as the 270 S with manual or automatic transmission, and 270 EX with automatic transmission as standard.  On the road prices start from £19,995.
A commercial variant, the Rexton CS, will also be available with two seats, a good sized load area (2.2 cubic metres) and either manual of automatic transmission.  Prices start from £19,944.
Rodius - Rodius will be available as the 270 S manual, the 270 ES with a choice of either manual or automatic transmission, and the top specification 270 EX with all-wheel drive and automatic transmission.  All models have seven seats as standard, and on the road prices start from £14,995.
Frankfurt Motor Show
While the cars to be exhibited at Frankfurt in September have yet to be confirmed, it is expected that SsangYong will use the event to showcase a number of new model concepts, while SUT1, the sports utility pick up shown in concept form at Geneva will also be seen in market ready form.

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

SsangYong Korando