By on January 13, 2012

The Chevrolet LUV may have been one of the dorkier car names in the annals of automotive history, but it’s arguably better than the moniker of its Japanese counterpart, the Isuzu Faster. Korean car maker SsangYong’s new truck, the Korando Sports, is being dubbed the “Leisure Utility Vehicle”, and if parent company Mahindra can get their act together, the USA stands a chance of getting some LUV in the future.

Before it was bought by Mahindra, SsangYong used to pilfer Mercedes mechanical bits and make the world’s ugliest cars. SsangYong was bought out by Mahindra in February, 2011 and a deal to import CKD kits from India went tits up in early 2011. The CKD deal was supposed to help Mahindra get around the “chicken tax”, and was then followed by rumors of an agreement with Navistar to build trucks at an Alabama facility. That also died on the vine. We haven’t heard any further rumors about Mahindra attempting yet again to break into the U.S. market, but the LUV, goofy name and all, may not be a bad first attempt.

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15 Comments on “SsangYong Shows Some LUV...”

  • avatar

    The words “Mahindra” and “if” are like “peanut butter” and “jelly”. I don’t think there’s much of a chance we’ll see these Ridgeline clones in the US.

    Besides, anyone considering entering the US market for the first time, and doing so with only a truck, ought to have their corporate head examined. Even the Japanese truck makers don’t make much of a dent here. I’d be surprised if Mahindra could sell 10k of these a year; they’d have to give them away.

  • avatar

    The front end is a big step up from the native Indian trucks. I don’t understand the appeal of that sail panel. Is it to make the truck look like a car from the side? Why?

  • avatar

    ISUZU FASTER is a catchy name. I could see someone snaggin that name again.

    Here would have been the perfect marketing song. Listen until the chorus “faster, faster, faster”


    “Like gasoline on fire running wild”

  • avatar

    Its a vast improvement over the previous offerings, and if the popularity of super-cheap Great Wall commercial utes is anything to go by, I expect a tonne of them on the roads here in Oz soon.

  • avatar

    Ugly Subaru Baja :)

  • avatar

    How ’bout the Isuzu Fester? (My favorite model name however is the Pontiac Cyst)

  • avatar

    ssangyong used to make some nice cars derived from mercedes w124 tooling. the musso and the chairman both had their charms. they then partnered with saic who basically ran the company into the ground and had huge labor problems. mahindra took ssangyong out of bankruptcy and is trying to resurrect the brand. i wish them luck.

  • avatar

    Pilfered Mercedes bits? I was lead to believe that SsangYong held a licensing agrrement with MB which led to (in Oz at least) the Musso utiliy/4wd being sold as a Mercedes Benz, until SsangYong established its own dealer network. SsangYong always had butt ugly vehicles and some “strange” design themes, mostly derived from MB Vito Vans, same side styling. Now they have a new designer (yea!)
    Still will probaly had the worst plastic interiors, even worse than Chrysler. Even Kia outshines them in this area. Value for money? Great gadgets, bugger all safety.

  • avatar

    Why don’t they create proper, good looking new brand for western markets (no, not “MahJong”, please) so they can get rid of the old SY and anyway nearly non existent but already iffy Mahindra image, when they are ready for launch?
    Would someone (GM, Spyker, TVR:) maybe sell them some dead brand names, so thy could sell their products as, say Saturns or Hummers? Probably not, but there has to be way to start from a clean sheet. LUV itself looks OK, btw.

  • avatar

    I’m still waiting for a return of the proper two-door short-bed short-wheelbase 4×4…

    …perhaps it’s the marketing that’s all wrong for these.. Don’t market them as super-small Trucks and SUVs (then people will try to use them like Real trucks and SUVs and drop them like stale bread when they are found wanting), Market them as larger and road-legal versions of Side-by-Side UTVs. :D

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