Ssangyong Motor to invest $168 mln in S.Korea plant


SEOUL, July 30 (Reuters) - South Korean sport utility vehicle (SUV) maker, Ssangyong Motor Co , said on Tuesday it would invest 199.6 billion won ($168.4 million) to build a new engine plant in the southern part of the country.

Ssangyong, one of the nation's smallest automakers which creditors rescued from collapse last year, posted record sales in the first half of this year on government tax cuts on car purchases and strong demand for its Rexton and Korando SUV models.

The automaker said in a public notice to the Korea stock exchange it would raise the funds from its own reserves, while the plant would be able to produce 200,000 engines annually.

The automaker's first half sales rose 27.1 percent year on year to 82,534 vehicles.

Ssangyong shares closed up 3.7 percent on Tuesday at 4,160 won, while the broader stock market index ended up 3.39 percent.

U.S.-German automaker DaimlerChrysler AG holds a 1.2 percent stake in Ssangyong, which made an ill-timed foray into luxury sedans shortly before the Asian financial crisis in late 1997.

($1=1185.0 won)



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