Frankfurt Auto ShowFRANKFURT – Ssangyong Motor Co. Ltd. is making a run for Europe’s small SUV market with the Kyron X-Transition concept vehicle, unveiled at the auto show here.

The name Kyron is inspired by the Greek word “kai,” which means unlimited, and the English word “run.”

The China-based auto maker hopes to sell 35,000 units in Europe next year, setting the stage for the introduction of another, smaller SUV in mid-2006.

Ssangyong Kyron concept

Powered by a 2.0L, 4-cyl. diesel mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission, the Kyron has a 108-in. (274-cm) wheelbase and promises a towing capacity of 1,045 lbs. (2,300 kg). In pursuit of car-like ride quality, Ssangyong also employs a double wishbone suspension in front and a 5-link rear suspension.

The auto maker also boasts superior safety with electronic stability control and Active Rollover Protection from Continental Teves Inc.

Codenamed D100, the Kyron X-Transition has been under development since 2002. “Since Ssangyong became a member of the SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.) Group earlier this year, it has been in a much stronger position to exercise sound management and take a more aggressive approach to its export markets,” says Kang Mun-Suk, executive vice president-sales.

“It enables Ssangyong to offer a wider choice of products to our European customers.”

Ssangyong also will be expanding its dealer network in Europe, Kang adds.

emayne@primediabusiness.com