Back in February, TTAC reported that Ssangyong SUVs may be imported into the United States in the near future, and a report by Reuters confirms that significant steps have been made by parent company Mahindra to further that goal.
Ssangyong has had a colorful history, to put it lightly. In 1999, the Korean brand entered bankruptcy as its Chinese majority owner, SAIC Motor Company cut Ssangyong loose. Ssangyong made a frenzied attempt to cut its workforce down, and faced one of the worst labor strikes in the Korean auto industry’s history. In retaliation for the cuts, the workers of Ssangyong’s Pyongtaek production plant set fire to the plant, and later occupied it for two months. Riot police, including helicopter support, was called in eventually to clear the plant.
With Ssangyong in shambles, Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra bought a 70% stake in the company in 2011 and immediately went to work on labor issues. Since the acquisition, Ssangyong has not suffered any labor downtime and the once rioting workforce now appears to be diligently rebuilding the auto maker, one car at a time.
In 2013, Ssangyong returned and racked up its highest sales, with 145,649 cars sold last year. 81,679 of those sales were made in overseas markets; and a spokesman for Ssangyong confirmed to WardsAuto that the Korean Automaker is looking to expand its product to the U.S. market.
American consumers may have been robbed of a chance to buy the Mahindra pickup, but how about one from Great Wall?
The world’s ugliest car, the Ssangyong Rodius, has gotten a new mug for 2013. Possibly the least anticipated debut at next week’s Geneva Auto Show, the pedestrian-friendly front end takes away some of the visual harshness of the former Middle Eastern minicab of choice, but the trademark inverted-triangle rear window remains. There’s plenty of forbidden fruit available elsewhere that we are not privy to. Some are worth coveting. This product isn’t one of them.
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Aston Martin’s Kuwaiti owners are apparently looking to unload their majority stake in the English sports car maker, but proceedings have been slow to due Investment Dar Co.’s desire to recoup their $800 million purchase price.
Mahindra has launched the Quanto compact SUV in the Indian market. Based on the larger Xylo, Mahindra chopped the rear off to get it under 4-meters in length. The company has given the car a new 1.5-litre diesel engine as well. In India, vehicles which are less than 4-meters in length and have an engine capacity less than 1.5-litres (diesel) or 1.2-litres (gasoline), benefit from a lower excise duty of 12% against 27%.