Ssangyong History

This is a Korean automaker whose name means “double dragons”. The company was founded in 1954 and is based in Seoul, South Korea, even though its parent company is the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) of China. Ssangyong’s parent company, Hadonghwan Motor Company, started as an accredited jeep builder for the US Army in the 1960s. In 1986 Hadonghwan was bought out by the Ssangyong Business Group and became Ssangyong Motor Company. In 1987 the new company took over the UK manufacturer Panther, and in 1991 started a technology partnership with Daimler-Benz, makers of the Mercedes-Benz range of luxury cars. Fellow Korean automaker Daewoo Motors also bought a controlling stake in Ssangyong in 1997, but was forced to sell it in 2000 because of financial difficulties.

The company was put into receivership in 2009 after recording a colossal US$ 75 million loss the previous year, caused mainly by the global economic crisis and greatly reduced demand for its products. In May of that year workers also went on strike over job insecurity at the troubled firm, and violent clashes with the police ensued. The situation was only resolved and production reopened in August 2009. Ssangyong has also battled SAIC over failure to invest in the company, and more seriously, charges of theft of proprietary Ssangyong technology. One ray of sunshine has been that Daewoo has inked a new deal with Ssangyong to supply new vehicles for sale.

Ssangyong Models

Ssangyong models on sale in New Zealand kick off with the Actyon-ute, an odd-looking compact dual-cab truck. Next is the Rexton, currently in its second generation. This looks somewhat more attractive, but will still not be your computer wallpaper. Last is the Stavic, also known as the Rodius. This is a cross between SUV and MPV, and it is a spectacularly ugly vehicle, especially from the rear view.

Looking at buying a Ssangyong? Check the vehicle history of any Ssangyong by entering its number plate in the field above.