By on December 24, 2014

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Ssangyong has trademarked two nameplates in America, ostensibly in preparation for an American launch.

Consumer Reports claims that the two models will be known as the Tivoli (the small SUV shown above) and the Luvent (a compact car based on the same platform).

The Tivoli will launch in the South Korean market in January at the equivalent price of $15,000 with a six-speed manual transmission; a six-speed automatic transmission will add about $1,500 to the cost. The base two-wheel drive Tivoli will come with a 125-hp, 1.6-liter  gasoline engine. All-wheel drive and a 1.6-liter diesel variant will be available as part of Ssangyong’s build plan. 

Standard safety features in the South Korean market will include seven air bags, electronic stability control, brake assist, hill start assist, and seat-belt pretensioners. If extreme brake force is applied, the car will automatically illuminate the emergency flashers in the rear taillamp cluster. About 40 percent of the car’s body will be made of advanced high-strength steel.

Although Ssangyong’s target markets have been in Central America, Eastern Europe, Africa, China, and India, the Tivoli was designed with U.S. crash and emissions certification in mind, Ssangyong sources told Consumer Reports.

While CR notes that Ssangyong has trademarked names in the past without ever making an appearance in America, there have been sustained rumors about a launch for the brand. The brand itself, backed by Mahindra, would likely change its name to sound less Korean.

 

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104 Comments on “Ssangyong Making Moves Towards US Market Launch...”


  • avatar
    Luke42

    There is a lot to be said for basic transportation!

    This isn’t my segment anymore, but best of luck to them!

  • avatar
    mjz

    Good god, Luvent sounds like the name of a feminine itch creme, and Tivoli, a Swiss cough drop. Ugh. Maybe alphanumeric names aren’t so bad afterall.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Bring on the the $8,999.99 Chinese cars, I say.

    The time is right now, during the U.S. Wave of Middle Class Evisceration (U.S. Serf/Surf Mutilation).

    We need Everyday Roll Back prices.

    Now that an increasingly larger % of the components in all vehicles (especially GM & Ford – think entire motors & MT-82 Getrag transmissions) are produced in China anyways, bring us Great Wall vehicles sold at Super Wal-Mart.

    Merry Christmas, plebs!

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      If there isn’t a $8,999.99 Mexican car offered in the U.S., there isn’t going to be an $8,999.99 Chinese car. This is the conundrum for Chinese brands, they have all the costs and then some of Mexican assembly, but won’t be able to price their products for sh1t. This reeks of failure a la Yugo.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Hmmm, selling Chinese cars at Walmart? I wonder…

    • 0 avatar
      mr.cranky

      Frankly, I’m embarrassed that some of these people saw the name and automatically assumed that it was chinese. A quick google search will do wonders, people.

      Reminds me of why it’s hard to take TTAC seriously due to the racist trologdytes that post here.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Interestingly the Korean company was owned by the Chinese, then sold to the Indians. Daewoo Heavy Trucks are also owned by Indians TATA in this case

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Refusing to purchase Made in China products is now futile. Housewares, appliances, etc give you very little choice of non Chinese products. Even our new washing machine proudly labelled ‘Assembled in America” is made of Chinese parts.

    To paraphrase Lenin “the capitalists will sell us the very ropes that we use to hang them” has been proven true.

    So why not just lay back and try to enjoy what they are doing to us. After all, a cheap, basic, 4wd, diesel engined, manual transmission vehicle is something that most of us have expressed a desire for.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      This is all very interesting and may come to pass as you state, but we’re talking about a Korean car here and after thoroughly examining their site I see no indication that they offer any 4wd, diesel engined, manual transmission vehicle… in brown

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Resistance is futile. China has too many workers & not enough jobs in an era of increased automation (some would argue on a trajectory to wipe out 25% of jobs presently tasked by humans, within a decade).

    China will debase their currency and otherwise once again make their labor costs compelling, inevitably, to retain or nab as many of those remaining human-tasked jobs as possible.

    This jib-jab is as compelling today as it was when it was released:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKv6RcXa2UI

  • avatar
    energetik9

    First off, I can’t imagine that there will be a strong desire to purchase a Chinese car by many consumers in the US. I also realize that the initial cars will likely be lacking in quality, or maybe not. The interesting question will be, if they establish a foothold, what will Ssanyong look like in 10 years. Remember the First Hyundai Excel? It was a POS, rebadged Mitsu that we all ridiculed in High School. Horrible paint, and it fell apart and look where they are today. Of course, you also have Daewoo which also had less than desirable cars until taken over by GM. It can be cheap, be a POS, but Americans will still buy it if it is cheap, but that only lasts so long.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I think the scenario will be a bit different. Americans will buy Chinese made cars, but first they will buy them with names like “Buick” on them. Once Americans get used to the idea it won’t be too difficult for them to buy “Great Walls” especially if they come looking identical to cars costing three times as much

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Why would people object to buying cars from the #1 car market in the world?

        I’m having trouble seeing past the veiled racism.

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          Unless you’re postulating that Japanese and Chinese are a different “race”, your comment is Vassar undergrad.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          What “veiled racism”? They’re being quite obvious about it.

        • 0 avatar
          energetik9

          I wasn’t trying to sound racist and probably could have chosen my words more carefully. I only have two points to clarify. My limited reading on Chinese car quality is that they are not there yet. This was mostly from a Forbes article that I read some time ago but cannot quote. And as I discussed, this will not stop people from buying if the price is right. Korean makers have made significant strides from when they first entered the market.

          As far as any Chinese sentiment. Surely you are aware that there are many out there that will buy US solely because it is US. I’ve been on other forums where I’ve been called anti American or some German slang because I drive a German car. I appreciate the desire to buy American, I don’t think this attitude is much of a surprise to anyone. There is a under layer of mistrust for things Chinese in this country. I saw some of the same language and tone when Smithfield was sold. Perhaps no more than subtle and I have to believe that it would play a role in car sales. Either way, this is purely anecdotal and observation on my part.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I’ve made no bones about not liking Japanese cars–but it really is the CARS I don’t like, not the people or the politics. To me, they’re simply boring (or could I say boringly simple) for what they’re supposed to be. They may be among the most capable cars in the world, but there’s almost no individuality between them–admittedly with limited exceptions like the Nissan Juke.

            I have other problems with both Ford and GM here in the US–partially because of their too-much-alike designs between classes (sometimes it’s hard to tell a Fusion from a Focus from a Fiesta at a distance) and their noted unreliability (as evidenced by their recall records and personal experience). That said, I still prefer to buy American when I can because they don’t have that “global” look in general.

            However, my most recent purchase was, of all things, a Fiat 500 because of its compact size, VERY roomy interior for my needs (no kids, for instance) and good fuel mileage. My next purchase seems likely to be an Italian-built Jeep, once this 500 is paid off.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I don’t understand the term “Japanese” in describing cars. To me, a Mazda6 is as different from a Camry as a Passat is from an Optima. The nationality of the company headquarters is of little interest to me.

            It’s like saying the Elise and JGC SRT are all the same because they’re both British. Really?

          • 0 avatar
            energetik9

            OK seriously, how in the world did I think this was Chinese? The thing is, I lived in South Korea for a year. I know this make. Man….

            In all seriousness, I lived in Korea in 2000-2001. You couldn’t miss this company (Ssangyong). They made cheap knock offs of other cars. They were just copies except for the grill treatment. Back then, they were serious POSs, but I think they actually had a license to produce Jeeps, that was while ago. I’m sure they are much better now.

            Feeling embarrassed I messed that one up….

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            More likely will never be there yet, China like India has hundreds of millions who do not own cars. It would appear they like to produce cheap not so well built cars, for this potential market

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Strangely, VoGo, the Mazda 6 looks a lot like a Toyota Corolla in profile which looks just like the Camry and Avalon in profile when you ignore their overall size differences. I will grant that the different Mazdas look different from each other (unlike Toyota, Ford and so many other brands) but they still look too much like their competition in similar classes. At least the VW Golf and Beetle look different from the Passat and Jetta, which also look too similar to each other.

            It used to be that each brand and model was quite distinct in appearance between same-brand models and other-brand equivalents (discounting Chrysler itself for almost 40 years from the mid-’60s through the ’90s though they at least gave different nose clips to make them somewhat individual). Now it’s nigh-impossible to tell different Ford models apart and difficult to tell different Chevrolet models apart. At least the Charger looks different from the 300 despite using essentially the same platform and the 200 looks nothing like the 300. Even the different Jeep models look quite different from each other and from most ‘equivalent’ competitors.

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    “Tivoli (the small SUV shown above) and the Luvent”

    .. their naming scheme is already better than Cadillac, Acura and Lincoln’s…. at least it is made for humans.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Good times to get into a technician school, many openings in the next few years with all these crap cars coming over here!

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    What the hey? Koreans make good stuff. I’d for sure check out the Tivoli if it ever appeared in deer stand country.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      This from the guy who scoffs at the idea of a Journey. Cheap crap built in your own backyard… ‘murica!

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        I’m dazzlingly unpredictable like that.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        Hey, what’s wrong with the Journey, other than a mushy ride and handling and brakes that wear out too quickly? It has been solid for over 3 yrs now, only visit to dealer was the brake issues.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          pete thinks they’re made in China, or should be

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!
          The Journey has a “mushy ride”?!
          Tell me more!

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Ive driven a pre-facelift V6 model (FWD) and I thought it was nice and firm. Certainly able to aggressively take on ramps at speeds that made a 1st gen Equinox AWD understeer like a Chevy Celebrity.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “The Journey has a “mushy ride”?!”

            I told you that it’s just a Caravan on stilts

          • 0 avatar
            Volt 230

            Yes mushy, much like the big American cars of yore, in a way it’s like a time capsule.

          • 0 avatar
            Volt 230

            Built on an extended Caliber chassis which explains why the suspension and brakes are overwhelmed by the vehicle’s weight and girth, simple engineering principle, which I guess the Chrysler bean counters overlooked.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            “Yes mushy, much like the big American cars of yore”

            Thanks, Volt 230. You’ve given me some real hope. I want exactly what every car guy hates… egregiously sloppy, mooshy cush.

            But the damage done by car guys infiltrating EVERY venue of revue has convinced the manufacturers that everybody wants some kind of hard-ass German ride.

            No! I want a ride like a town full of lonely peasant war widows would’ve given my grandfather!

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            You’d get along with my dad, he longs for a stretch Cadillac that rides like a Lincoln Town Car. He gets close to tears when I tell him they don’t make those anymore

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Tell him there’s at least one guy out there who honors and agrees with him.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “Tell him there’s at least one guy out there who honors and agrees with him.”

            Who happens to be the same age as his youngest kid. He’ll have the Merriest of Christmases

  • avatar
    PJmacgee

    Jezus H, people, please remember to take your meds before hopping on the internetz – this is a Korean company, not Chinese, wtf.

    Anyway, heck yes, bring over more small, AWD, manual cars please. Maybe Ssangyong can even pick where the other Koreans left off, with better handling/more engaging cars (Mazda of Korea)? Eh, one can dream.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I swear this morning when the article was first posted that it said something to the effect of, a Chinese automaker moves toward introducing their cars to America, once I got through the article I realized it had nothing to do with Chinese but the Koreans, and I was well aware this was a Korean company.

      If I’m not mistaken something was edited from it being first posted to a little bit after that.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Yes, yes… this is interesting.

    We’ll all need a freshly imported brand to make fun of in the next couple of years.

    And Good God, the last vehicle I’d ever want to be inside of during the event of a collision would be a “Ssangyong”.

    Hmmmm… why did I just think of the 80’s movie starring Michael Keaton called “Gung Ho”?

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    TTAC, your website keeps eating my comments!

    ‘Tis the gift that keeps on giving :)

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Don’t you mean ” ’tis the gift that keeps on taking”? I’ve run into that spam-eater myself on occasion, but somehow I’m not as affected as things were a couple weeks ago.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Can’t wait for their 1990s MB S-class clone to come over! ;)

  • avatar
    JK43123

    I think Luvent sounds like an asthma or copd medicine.

    John

  • avatar
    Pch101

    They may have reserved the trademark just for the sake of self-defense, i.e. so that no one else can use the name.

    (You never know: the Chevy Luvent could have been the next Lumina.)

  • avatar
    seanx37

    Why? The market is too crowded as it is. Why would anyone buy this instead of a new Soul? Or a two year old Escape,CRV,Rav 4, etc…

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    The UK is so much smaller than us, yet they get so much more variety and brands, I find it incredible.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Americans pay lower prices, so we end up with fewer options.

      This is the law of supply — higher prices induce more suppliers to enter the market.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        This is your effort at understanding market forces? The UK has pretty lax automotive regulations relative to the US. What they have in regulations are also shared with large markets. In addition, setting up shop in the UK is about as logistically challenging as entering a regional market in the US. The scale of the US is a barrier to entry in and of itself for an automaker with small volume ambitions.

        It’s not like being cheap hurts us as consumers when it comes to UK or European cars. We only get the engines that their domestic market customers fantasize about while picking between a slow diesel or a half scale model of the engines in the US cars. Does it matter that we can’t get a $50K econobox with all the latest gadgets? Why would we want one, when we can get a V6 powered, roomy, luxury car for the same price? Would you rather have a loaded Golf or an IS350? If you’d really rather have a DDM Golf, I can’t say I respect your opinion.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          You’re babbling. Maybe Santa can bring you some reason for Christmas (although knowing you, that ain’t gonna happen.)

          “Does it matter that we can’t get a $50K econobox with all the latest gadgets?”

          Er, that was the point that I was making, i.e. the point that you claim to find to be disagreeable. You’re so blind with rage that you can’t even read what has been written.

          We pay lower prices, so we don’t get those things. Lower prices create greater needs for economies of scale, which necessarily means less variety.

          If Americans were willing to pay more for niche vehicles, then we would have more of them. But at American prices, many of those aren’t not profitable.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Something worth taking into consideration is the percentage of the public that gets to participate in the new car market. We have all the choice in the world above about the $60K mark. At the $30K price point, all we have going for us is that we get far more car for the money. A loaded Accord is a nice 5-series alternative. Compared to a Polo diesel with Sat-Nav and auto start? It’s like showing a slum kid FAO Schwartz.

            Working class Europeans have been getting weaned off or denied car ownership for decades. We’re headed there too, but for now their lead in the race to the boxcars in insurmountable. The US vehicle ownership rate is about 80% higher than that of the UK. It is a fat load a Obama that choice does for you when you can’t afford the least option.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I wrote a reply. Maybe it will show up. Maybe it won’t. Whoever’s decision it has been to stick with this site’s technical support or platform should be fired at this point instead of the incompetent saboteurs.

            Here are the bullet points:
            * US residents are 80% more likely than UK residents to own a car. Not owning a car is what real lack of choice looks like. You’ll get around at the government’s convenience for as long as you’re convenient.
            * At the high end of the market we have everything anyone else has. At the middle of the market, we have cars that mass market Europeans would find as incomprehensibly ostentatious as an Indian slum kid would find a $30K shopping spree at FAO Schwartz.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            What are the new filter words for this BB? Nobody involved in IT at the start of this fiasco should still be allowed in the building.

            Our vehicle ownership rate is 80% higher than that of the UK. That’s what lack of choice really looks like. They’ll get around at the government’s convenience for as long as they’re convenient. We have mass market cars that make their mass market cars look impoverished. We get all the same stuff at the top of the market. The difference is that you don’t need to be particularly rich to have a nice car here.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Do you love America or hate it? Hard to tell, because most of the time, all you do is whine.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @CJ in SD,
          No they get the engines THEY fantasise about, not the same as the U.S. No the regulations are aligned with the EU, not separate. Yes the size of the U.S. and the entire European market for that matter would be daunting for a small manufacturer from outside the U.S. or Europe

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          No the UK has the same regs as the rest of the Eurozone, you get more freedom on importing non complying Vehicles, but usually their are restrictions i.e LHD US cars can be imported , but you cannot insure them. Europeans get the engines they fantasise about, not the same as US
          Car ownership is lower in Europe, because public transport is vastly cheaper and more practical in their congested cities
          Agree about a small manufacturer having a hard time trying to penetrate the U.S. AND European markets. Costs would be enormous

          • 0 avatar
            wmba

            Of all the dimwits who post here, you Mr Ryan rank as the dimmest.

            Of course, you can insure LHD cars in the UK. 60 seconds with Google would show you that, as I have told you twice before.

            But in your befuddled state of mind, perhaps instilled by multiple kangaroo blows to the bonce, nothing seems to seep between the cracks of your utter stupidity into what passes as a brain.

            As you once loftily informed us, all GM overhead cam V6s in the whole wide world were made in a tin shed at GM Holden’s Australian facilities. You probably still think this is so.

            What with your utterances and the eight-year-old level lectures from BAFO on trucks and international finance, I really wonder if the Austrilian school system is good for much.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @WMBA
            You have proved you are the dimmest on these boards by a huge margin, I never said all V6 GM engines were made in Australia,do not know where you got that from. As far as I know, LHD vehicles are very dangerous in the UK, so only recently someone mentioned on GMI they cannot be insured

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            LHD Vehicles from Continental Europe, can get a special LHD Insurance, but not all Insurers in the UK, will cover you if you have a larger US vehicle or it has been modified
            From TESCO, the food group website who also do insurance

            The good news is that if your car insurance provider does insure LHD cars, the car insurance premium should not cost any more than an equivalent right hand drive vehicle. That said there are many UK insurance providers that will not insure LHD vehicles particularly if they have been modified.

            Be careful of insurers that agree to insure the car because it is ‘similar’ to another make and model. You should be absolutely clear with the sales person of the make and model of your left hand drive car, and ask them if in the event of an accident the insurance inspector would pay out on the basis of the description of your car.

            Shop around and you will find a UK insurer that will cover your car and it should not cost the earth.”

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I hope they bring their midsize pickups over. Very nicely optioned and considerably less than a Tacoma.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I would like to see their midsize pickups come over–nicely optioned and considerably less than a Tacoma.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The filter is blocking my comment. I would like to see their midsize pickup come to the US which has many features for much less than a comparable Tacoma.

  • avatar
    brianyates

    Wow! 125hp, my lawn mower has more hp than that!

  • avatar
    EAF

    I believe my cell phone is made in China! I do my best not to buy anything made there. I have nothing against the Chinese people, it is just they manufacture junk and I end up having to spend more in the long run.

    On the otherhand, I probably would buy a Korean built vehicle (Hyundai/Kia).

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    You want a Citroen.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    This is a South Korean company not a Chinese company. Ssangyong is a South Korean company it just happens to be lesser known than Hyundai and Kia and is now owned by Mahindra.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Yes, indeed, and a Merry Xmas to everyone who thought Ssangyong was Chinese. The general level of automotive knowledge here is so low, it scarcely registers.

    The Ssangyong Rodius was once acclaimed as the ugliest vehicle sold, but they managed to flog one or two because it had the 3 litre Mercedes SOHC engine used in the late 1980s E Class, built under licence.

    Of course, these days, gazing upon its mishapen lines courtesy of Google, years of bad styling from a multitude of manufacturers have ruined our minds to the point where it looks passably bland. Better than a Buick Rendezvous, immeasurably more elegant than a Nissan Juke or Cube.

    Of course, for the height of bad taste, we now turn to Toyota for the Mirai and Lexus NX200, proof positive that ex-samurai warriors on bath salts hired as styling consultants are completely out of their minds

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Looks like somebody got a bag of well deserved coal in their stocking this morning

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      I’d hate to be the poor schmuck who has to bathe and dress this guy.

      “Your damn Mexican is stealing from me again!”

    • 0 avatar
      Banger

      “Better than a Buick Rendezvous, immeasurably more elegant than a Nissan Juke or Cube.”

      Funny, I thought the Nissan cube was elegant enough that I just bought a second one for our family fleet this week. Notably, in the context of what we’re discussing here, we had to pay about $1,000 more than we did four years ago. Not a horrible rate of inflation, I guess, but nearly $20,000 all-in for a modestly trimmed 2014 cube S is quite a lot for what it is, if we’re honest. That was taxes and all, by the way.

      If Ssangyong — by whatever name they choose to be known in America — can offer compelling products at a compelling discount compared to the established brands, they will be successful. I will note that I briefly looked into Kia Souls when shopping online before our cube purchase, and I noted many of them past the $20,000 threshold as well.

      One wonders if Ssangyong’s rumored entry into America could actually be Mahindra’s backdoor attempt at giving it a second go. But I digress.

      (Slightly off-topic, but Nissan prefers you don’t capitalize cube even though it’s a proper noun in this context. No, I don’t understand the logic in that.)

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        No second go for Mahindra they never have tried to bring their vehicles to the US. It was a cheesy used car dealer, who didn’t have a clue that wanted to bring them here. Mahindra only agreed to sell him CKDs and never agreed to make them compliant with US safety and emissions standards.

  • avatar
    jkk6

    Ssangyong is just a fancy domestic car(To Koreans) that build and sells cars off foreign platforms. MB diesel engines, and old 88′ s-class platforms that people purchase as alternatives to Hyundai’s domestic offerings since every damn wanna be/soon to be gangster buys used Granduers, Dynastys, Equus’s and Genesis’s for 5000 dollars, also since buying German imports are often looked down upon being too ostentatious.

    The company itself has been on the tight rope for sometime now (15years?), first they were sold to a Daewoo then to a Chinese company which extracted any IP value it used to hold, often saw dealer lots with past generation 4~5 year old cars that aren’t produces anymore still being sold new. Striking assembly lines with Chinese owners that didn’t care was then sold to Mahindra. Mahindra IIRC has large ownership in the company becoming it’s life line, and what I think what they’re trying to do is utilize existing mfg infrastructure, inject some money into marketing and distribution and basing their selling point off the “Korean Value” which arose recently with H/K’s and GM Daewoo’s(Cruze) success. Sort of like a Korea/asian Range Rover line.

    Ssangyong to me (29year old)has had only a single successful model which is the MB diesel MUSSO which was also successfully exported and sold in low volume to certain European countries. Note that their advantage during this Era, was the fact that the only SUVs that existed were Wranglers/Pathfinders/Explorers/RRs. Remember X5s and MLs came into production late game after the millenium started.

    If they come to America they will see a fate far more unforgiving than that of Izusu and Suzuki at the pockets of their Indian co-owners. To me this is not even amusing. If anything I hope this company can churn out cars that people want breaking free from stubborn management and creating new value similar to that of a Nissan Gohsen turn around.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    Do we need more budget compact utilities??? When I was in South Korea most of the Ssangyong models I saw were very close copies of Japanese and European makes.

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