By on September 18, 2009

Who doesn't want a piece of that? (courtesy:djmick.co.uk)

A few days ago Ferdinand “JR Ewing” Piech was quoted as wanting to buy another 2 brides for his Volkswagen harem because as he puts it “A dozen is easier to remember than 10”. Well, it seems like he’s bored of his French beauty (Bugatti), his English rose (Bentley), his German frauliein (Audi) and his Spanish senorita (SEAT) and now, according to the Chosun Ilbo, has his sights on the South Korean salad dodger, Ssangyong. Yup, Ssangyong. Seriously.

That’s right, Ssangyong. The company who even the Chinese couldn’t handle, is apparently going to be courted by the company who has Porsche in their portfolio. Sounds barking mad, right? Well, there is a slight logic to this apparent loss of sanity.

You see, Ssangyong’s facilities can churn out 250,000 cars a year, so if VW can pick the company up for a peanuts, they’ll increase their production capacity to service Asia and bring them one step closer to their global ambitions. Not only will they get extra production capacity, they’ll also get easy access to Korea’s IT and electric vehicle technologies. Not bad if you want to create a hybrid.

Ssangyong’s current owner SAIC are also interested in regaining control of Ssangyong once the bankruptcy court has put this pig on a drastic diet, but are scared of the anger and resentment if it tries to take them over. So, to cushion the blow they may involve their partner. And who is SAIC’s partner? That’s right old Ferdinand “Ze vorld iz mine” Piech’s Volkswagen.

Personally, I can’t see this happening. Who in the name of sanity would want to buy a company where the workers are willing to die to save their factory?! Can you imagine how tough cost cutting would be?

Piech: We need to close this factory…..

Ssangyong workers: Never! The Rodius must live! Kill the bald one!!!!!

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8 Comments on “Volkswagen Looks East For Yet Another Brand...”


  • avatar
    rnc

    Access to the Korean market (all but closed to non-korean makers) and another brand to amortize small platforms, not develop platforms for VW (GM). Should probably work well, require very little investment required, opens new market and if it doesn’t work you can just let it die, if you don’t want the factory does it matter if they blow it up?

  • avatar
    mkII

    If Piech did buy Ssangyong and fired the sorry asses of all ’em designers, it might not have been such a bad thing to mankind after all… I’d much rather have a cheap clone of Golf than a Musso.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    I’m at a loss as to why entering the Korean market would be beneficial to VW’s future growth.

    How large is the South Korean market? Isn’t Piech planning something for the Malaysian market as well?

    I’ll bet that the two of them together won’t come anywhere close to the market potential of India in a few years.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    Cammy, it’s señorita. alt+164 on the keypad gets you there.

    Is it SAIC or BAIC VW’s chinese partner?

    The SUVs and cars Ssangyong makes have Mercedes technology, which may also be helpful for VW. Or not.

  • avatar
    Signal11

    “They’ll also get easy access to Korea’s IT and electric vehicle technologies. Not bad if you want to create a hybrid …”

    Somehow, this doesn’t ring quite true. The Koreans are not ahead of the Germans on EV/hybrid tech.

  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    Signal11,

    Also, remember this, considering VW could pick Ssangyong up for peanuts, any access to any electric technology would help.

    Stingray,

    It’s SAIC, duly amended.

  • avatar
    rnc

    VW is already big in India, South Korea has about 50 million people with similar per capita income to Europe and Malaysia has 25 million people and is the fastest growing economy in the A.P.R. (also believe that like Brazil/India they have tariffs that encourage manufacturing to be done there). Why would you ignore those markets when other automakers are not in a position to counter and the ones that are (hyundai) are investing in your primary market?

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    VW sis an excellent job with SKODA, the Czech company that had a great tradition in early 20th century, but after the commies took over, it was producing some of the crappiest cars anywhere. VW changed their lines to make cheap VW designs, with modifications, so they are not identical to VWs and/or SEATs.

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