By on September 16, 2014


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.

According to Reuters, Mahindra is in the midst of conducting a feasibility study for the sale of its products in the American market. Ssangyong vehicles would be positioned as a budget range of SUVs and crossovers. Some models, like the Rexton, use older Mercedes-Benz technology, while the Korando (pictured above) uses newer technology developed by Ssangyong (though likely with the help of outside consulting firms).

While Ssangyong currently markets its vehicles in markets like Australia using the “Boldly Korean” marketing tagline, a U.S. introduction would likely mean a new moniker (one that is more pleasing to American ears) and a whole new branding strategy.

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56 Comments on “Ssangyong May Enter American Market...”

  • avatar

    That looks like a Jaguar grille on that CUV…

  • avatar

    The Rexton II is really the only decent looking thing they make. And the Chairman is alright, but they wouldn’t bring that here.

    Everything else has really been an amalgamation of cars from other brands, and herpy derp styling.

    They still make the Rhodius, and have redesigned it! Huzzah!

    Serious Ssangyong, no.

  • avatar

    Behold, the new Suzuki!

  • avatar

    Is that a rebadged captiva?

  • avatar

    That’s a weird looking Captiva.

  • avatar

    The first batch of cars will arrive in late Nevuary.

  • avatar

    I remember Mike Brewer driving a Ssangyong on one or two seasons of Wheeler Dealers. It might have been a Kyron, which has the door handles off of a 2003-2009 Kia Sorento…

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    How would they out-Hyundai Hyundai?

    They couldn’t possibly beat them on price, warranty, or quality, so what compelling product could they offer that I can’t buy elsewhere from a trusted source?

    The brown diesel wagon with a stick? The 200-mile EV for $25k?

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I have yet to read one comment regarding Ssanyong that really has much to do with this company.

    We do get Ssangyong here in Australia and there vehicles are probably one of the better built Korean vehicles, even with some odd looking ones like the Stavic.

    Merecedes Benz engineering has a lot to do with SsangYong. I even think they actually manufacture some MBs in their factories. This shows in the overall build quality of their vehicles.

    I wonder how the chicken tax is going with the Korean FTA?

    SsangYong actually have a nice little pickup the Actyon.

    In diesel form it’s getting 40mpg (US) on the highway. Here in Australia they are priced between the Japanese and Chinese/Indian pickups. So they are a good value vehicle.

    The diesel is a VM Motori 2 litre. I can carry 600kg, US 1/2 ton pickup sized load.

    • 0 avatar

      “I have yet to read one comment regarding Ssanyong that really has much to do with this company.”

      I think that is because no one in America knows what to expect from this company and is unwilling to speculate about it.

      I would like to see more brands from all over the world compete in the US car market and let the consumer/buyer decide which is a keeper, and which can go the way of Suzuki et al.

    • 0 avatar

      SsangYong has a weird and complicated last 25 years or so. Partnership with Diamler, bought by Daewoo, bought by SAIC, raided for their technology, into receivership, then picked up by Mahindra.

      Mercedes has has had little to do with SsangYong since the mid to late 90s (SsangYong still uses Mercedes parts though). The Musso was badge engineered as a MB and the MB100 was rebadged as the Istana. The Musso was built in a SsangYong factory, but I hardly call it a Mercedes anyway. The Istana was built under license seperate from MB100s.

      I wish them luck with the Actyon in the US market, but no FTA can make it popular.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I disagree with your comment regarding MBs influence.

        MB is what lifted SsangYong from obscurity into an exportable product.

        The MB influence in engineering is still evident and this goes as far as build quality.

        A similar situation exists at Rover. Ford’s influence is still very dominant.

        As for the Actyon, it seems most of our US commentators only see the smaller commercial vehicles as a full size competitor. If you only want a full size, yes then your comment has some credence.

        But, even if SsangYong only sell a small amount by F-150 standards it will still be a success.

        Here in Australia we have an open and liberal car market, this allows for many niche and specialty vehicles to exist. Something the US can learn from.

        If many brands have a niche, some may get traction as well.

        A 40mpg pickup that can carry what most full size 1/2 tons can carry would attract some customers.

        Like the Fiat Strada or the Brazilian ute from a couple of weeks ago.

        I think the problem with the US car market are the people running the show and not the consumer. It is proven that the US consumer is quite ready to adapt to other ideas and vehicles. Just look at your Euro van collection and many of your cars.

        Why do some of you fear the unknown? Or is it the known that you fear?

        • 0 avatar

          Yes Ssangyong had influence from MB. I’m sure they learned quite a bit. The Musso is what made them be able to export cars and trucks. It was badged as an MB in some places and gave Ssangyong a toe hold in new markets. Their current offerings are ether old Mercedes platforms (W124 S class, W163 M Class, old vans) or weird Daewoo kinda things. The point I was trying to make is that Diamler no longer has an active influence on SsangYong.

          I am not afraid of small trucks in the US. I’ve said it before, I would buy a global Ranger. It will fit in my garage and an F-150 will not. I think a small truck will be sold here, but it is going to have to come from an exisiting brand. I hope Fiat sells that weird Brazilian truck as a RAM.

        • 0 avatar

          There are plenty of quality products that are known quantities in this category. Why buy this over any other offering currently available? A Crossover is hardly a “niche vehicle”.

          Of course if it ever does get here I am sure plenty of folks with credit scores hovering around 580 will have one for as long as they can keep it hidden from the repo man which now that you mention it may be a viable niche market given Mitsubishi’s tenuous situation in our market.

          And as for cars built on old Mercedes tech, we have been down that road with Chryslers a few years back. I’ll pass but you are welcome to shell out your bucks on one.

      • 0 avatar

        “Mercedes has has had little to do with SsangYong since the mid to late 90s (SsangYong still uses Mercedes parts though).”

        Not true at all. Sssangyong design engineers still work closely with MB. Even right until the late 2000s, Ssangyong was basically half a contract manufacturer. While the 2008 Chairman W was supposed to be a clean sheet redesign, anyone and everyone who’s driven, been around or worked on one knows its an early/mid 2000s S-Class that’s been heavily retooled under the skin. It’s not just parts sharing.

  • avatar

    Given how saturated the US market already is with brands, there are one of two possibilities here. Either this will fail (likely) or one of the existing brands will be forced out (not likely but possible).

    Could a successful Ssangyong be what finally kicks Mitsubishi out of the US?

  • avatar

    “Ssangyong” looks like it might be something meaningful spelled backwards, but “Gnoygnass” isn’t any more meaningful.
    Unless they have some distinct way to distinguish themselves from everyone else, they won’t get any meaningful market
    share. VW started here by being cheap and simple, Toyota pushed their quality, Honda their economy, others their luxury,
    Saab their uniqueness, Ferrari their performance and exclusivity, Volvo their safety, Oldsmobile their elderlyness,
    Hummer their blatant excess, Jeep their off-road capabilities,
    Yugo their cheapness on every level. The also-rans who did not distinguish themselves are dying or gone: Mitsubishi, Daihatsu,
    Suzuki, Kia, AMC.

    So what’s available for Ssangyong?
    “Not Made In China!”
    “We have a weirder name than Kia, but are cars are almost as good as theirs!”
    “Ssangyong: Cars for those who know nothing about cars and, like us, don’t know how to spell!”

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Weird name though. Guess I got used to Toyota and Hyundai.

    Looking through their model range, my God they look like the extended family that grew up next to the nuclear plant. Except for the Chairman W, there is something off at least a little on each of their designs…

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    All they make are SUV and CUV except for that Mercedes clone sedan, WTF?

  • avatar

    I remember when the Musso was popular in Oz, the local Mercedes dealers were hit with an unexpected surge in orders for MB badged rocker covers.

  • avatar

    My but we are quick to criticize Ssangyong for buying Daimler Benz technology, as if that practice were beneath first class car companies.

    Remind me again how the Jeep Grand Cherokee and 300C came to be?

  • avatar

    Didn’t this company [can’t spell now] look into buying the Saturn brand and dealer network from GM? But then pulled out since Renault had a say? They didn’t want it to compete with Nissan.

  • avatar

    They need a crossover. The Korando won’t be enough and the Korando Gran Turismo is too weird looking. The Rexton is built on an old ML Class platform and the Chairman H is an old S-Class W124.

    The Chairman W is the only knight in shining armor in Ssangyong’s lineup, and it’s power trains are outdated. I don’t see this experiment going well. I live in Korea and while Ssangyong vehicles are on the road, they’re not nearly as popular as Hyundai/Kia and Samsung/Renault.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s almost hard to believe how well they did with the Musso. It’s the 90s American 4Runner of South Korea. When I was there I saw occasionally one of the earlier ones, in two-tone white over gold, with light tan 90s tinted windows. Always liked that one.

    • 0 avatar

      This Chairman H sounds pretty interesting, my only issue being in addition to being a W124 copy, it also uses a Mercedes drivetrain. If Ssangyong could put a known reliable drivetrain in the chassis I think we’d have a winner.

  • avatar

    I would not be keen on buying a car that Mercedes built out of Mercedes parts right now. Think I’ll pass on this.

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