A Brief history of SsangYong
SsangYong began life back in 1954, as the Hadonghwan Motor Company, originally building Jeeps for the US Army. After a name change to Dong-A Motor in 1977 the company went on to be taken over by the SsangYong Business Group in 1988 and a further name change was made to SsangYong Motors. The name SsangYong translates to mean “twin dragons”.
Other mergers and buyouts were soon to follow, in 1991 SsangYong entered into a technology sharing agreement with Daimler-Benz and shortly after that the company bought Panther Westwinds, a company that specialised in retro-styled cars based on production mechanicals. Daewoo motors were the next to take an interest in Korea's fourth largest car manufacturer and in 1997 they bought a controlling stake in the company only to reliquish it in the year 2000, due to severe financial irregurlarities. Daewoo's founder being given an 8 ½ year prison sentence and a fine of 21 trillion won, a figure that equates to 22 billion dollars. SsangYong's latest partner is the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) who took a 49% stake in 2004.
SsangYong's expertise in 4 x 4 vehicles dates back over fifty years and this reflects in the model range today, they produce two four wheel drive SUV's and one seven seat MPV. The range may be small but SsangYong pack plenty of standard kit into their vehicles and if you want an SUV that comes fully loaded for around £20,000 you could do a lot worse than looking at the SsangYong range.