What is in this article?:
- Ssangyong Eyes U.S. Market as Comeback Continues
- Promise 2016 Targets 300,000 Sales Annually
A spokesman confirms the automaker plans a product portfolio for North America and has hired a consultant to help it find a more palatable corporate and brand name. The aim is to describe a product with quality, vigor and a long future.
Ssangyong President and CEO Lee poses with restyled Korando C, which accounted for one-third of automaker’s 2013 sales in five months on market.
Korean automaker Ssangyong, a shambles five years ago, soon will to change the name of its brand and company to something with dash in hopes of sending its hardy and now-stylish SUVs to American shores.
In bankruptcy in early 1999, and ditched by its then-Chinese majority owner, a desperate Ssangyong downsized its workforce only to face the worst strike in the Korean auto industry’s history.
Workers set fire to parts of the Pyongtaek plant and illegally occupied it for more than two months. The strikers were subdued and expelled only after battalions of special-force police units stormed the plant, including commando teams skydropped from helicopters to lead the assault.
The lukewarm ashes of the wrecked company were saved by Indian automaker& Mahindra, which in February 2011 acquired a 70% stake since raised to 73%.
Using judicious employment practices the new Korean management brought the worker union into its confidence and its planning.
Without an hour of strike since the acquisition, the same workers who were so volatile afterdumped the automaker now are among the most diligent and productive in Korea. They are working a 2-shift schedule, with overtime on weekdays and weekends.
In 2013 Ssangyong racked up its highest sales since 2002, with 145,649 vehicles sold, a year-over-year jump of 20.7%. Of those deliveries a record 81,679 were made in overseas markets, up 11.9% year-over-year.
Last year’s domestic sales of 63,970 units were up 34.1% over 2012.
Now a spokesman confirms to WardsAuto that Ssangyong definitely plans to enter the U.S. market.
He confirms a product portfolio for North America is being planned, and says the automaker has hired a consultant to help it find a more palatable corporate and brand name. The aim is to shuck imagery of the old company and describe a product with quality, vigor and a long future.