20 Interesting Facts About SsangYong Motor Company
SsangYong Motor Company, is the third-largest South Korean automaker. At first its success was overshadowed by other big Korean companies. However, the hard-working nature of Korean people and the government support made its contribution into SsangYong’s success. Today, the company became one of the most recognizable Korean brands with assembly factories all over in the world. Here are some intriguing facts and figures about this outstanding company.
1. SsangYong means two dragons in Korean. The literal translation of official company name is Double Dragons Motor Company. SsangYong Group is proud to be the oldest Korean-based automaker.
2. The company’s history started in 1954, when it was founded under the name of Ha Dong-Hwan Workshop. Initially, Ha Dong-Hwan produced commercial trucks, busses, emergency vehicles and heavy duty vehicles for the South Korean market, as well as military jeeps for the US Army.
3. In 1967, SsangYong become the first Korean company to export buses to Vietnam.
4. One of the key moments in Korean car manufacturer’s history happened in 1986, when company started to sell the new version of Korando on the Japanese market. At the same time, another landmark event happened, as the Ha Dong-Hwan Workshop changed its name to the current one – SsangYong Motor Company. Simultaneously, the company’s logo was changed to the modern one.
5. In 1988, SsangYong Motor was at a peak of its financial health. The Korean company made few investments, including a buy-out of the famous British automaker Panther. From 1991 to 1993, the Panther division of SsangYong produced excellent two-man Panther Kallistal roadsters. This was, indeed a bright moment in the company’s history.
6. In 1988 the company name was changed again. The same year, the company started to sell Korando Family cars by the licence from Isuzu.
7. In 1991 the Korean company made a strategic alliance with the German automaker Mercedes-Benz AG. The main goal of this joint venture was to produce modern commercial transport and engines.
8. In 1997, the SsangYong Chairman, a large sedan was presented to the public. This vehicle strongly resembles the Mercedes-Benz S-class, which is not a coincidence – the car was based on Mercedes-Benz W124. The Korean company still produces this model.
9. In 1997, the Daewoo Motors, another major Korean automaker bought a control stake in SsangYong. However, after a short period, unfavourable financial and economic situation forced Daewoo to sell out its stack in SsangYong in 2000.
10. In 2004, the South Korean company was bought by a major Chinese automaker SAIC Motor Corporation Limited.
11. Throughout the 2000s, SsangYong Motor Company confirmed its reputation as a developer of reliable off-road vehicles. The company’s SUV line-up consisted of Rexton, Kyron, Actyon and Actyon Sports. The South Korean company used the body-on-frame technology for its four-wheel-drive cars.
12. In 2001, the SsangYong Korando was awarded the Energy Winner 2001 by the Korean non-governmental organization Consumers of Korea. The name Korando is a contraction of “Korea Can Do”.
13. In 2002, the South Korean automaker introduced the SsangYong Musso Sports – a multifunctional SUV pickup. The company opened a technology centre in China the same year.
14. In 2003, the new Chairman CM, a full-sized luxury car was presented to the public. The same year, the company presented its new luxury mid-size SUV, the SsangYong Rexton. This model was based on the Mercedes-Benz M-Class (W 163) and manufactured under the license from Mercedes-Benz., The SsangYong Rodius, a new minivan was released in the late 2004.
15. In 2005, the company launches two brand new models – SsangYong Actyon and Kyron.
The South Korean automaker started to assemble its models at the Kremenchuk assembly factory in Ukraine, using semi knocked down technology.
16. Korando holds the title of “Korea’s longest-surviving brand” in Guinness Book of World Records.
17. In November 2010 the majority stock holding in SsangYong was sold to the India-based Mahindra & Mahindra corporation. 70 % share and a block of bonds of Korean company was acquired for $463,6 m.
18. In 2010 the SsangYong Korando transitioned from a body-on-frame to a unitary body style. This change was a key event in the company’s development.
19. Surprisingly, at first the corporation had no logo at all. Early SsangYong models had nothing, but serial number and a white five-pointed star on the hood.
20. In the early 60s, SsangYong adopted Double Dragons as its official logo. While redesigned several times, company emblem always retains the Double Dragons motive. According to an Eastern tradition, the dragon is a symbol of strength, protection and prosperity. Like most companies from East Asia region, SsangYong keeps its traditions and stays loyal to the classical logo.