Ssangyong – South Korean Automobile Brand leads with Dragon Spirit
Ssangyong Motor or more commonly known as Ssangyong Motor Company is a leading automobile manufacturing company which specializes in producing commercial vehicles. It was founded on 4th March and has its headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. According to a recent survey conducted by a famous car reviewing website, it was the 4th largest automobile manufacturer in South Korea. The name of the company "Ssangyong" in Korean means "Double Dragons".
Ssangyong was first established in 1954 as "Ha Dong Hwan Motor Workshop" which was later merged in 1963 with another such auto maker "Dongbang Motor Co" founded in 1962 and renamed as "Ha Dong Hwan Motor Co". It started manufacturing jeeps, buses & trucks for the United States military in 1964 and a wide range of special purpose vehicles in 1976. Ssangyong was renamed in 1977 to "Dong A Motor" and later renamed as "Ssangyong Motor" in 1986 after it was bought by the Ssangyong Business Group.
Ssangyong Motors bought the "Panther West winds" – an automobile company based United Kingdom. It had also collaborated with Daimler Benz on a technology front in 1991. The merger mediated with Mercedes-Benz allowed for the development of a sports utility vehicle with infrastructural support from manufacturing units owned by Mercedes networks. The first automobile developed by the Ssangyong Mercedes partnership was – Ssangyong Musso that was initially sold by Mercedes and later under Ssangyong's brand name. Other notable models include Istana, Korando, Chairman H, Rexton, and Mercedes-Benz MB100.
Daewoo Motors acquired a controlling interest in Ssangyong Group in 1997 thus making it a leading owner & investor. However, due to huge financial loses, it had to sell the shares in 2000 which was then later acquired by another automobile manufacturing company based in China – SAIC, which has amounted to nearly 51% of the total shares owned by Ssangyong Motor Company. The company was again under hammer in 2009 after it suffered record losses of $75.42 million globally due to decrease in consumer demand and ongoing financial crisis. Also, production was highly affected due to frequent worker union strikes.
Daewoo & Acquisition by Mahindra
A new deal was signed with Daewoo Motors in 2010 after it separated from General Motors which permitted an investment injection of about $17.6 million for production of premium models such as Chairman H, Chairman W & Rodius etc. The deal was meant to revive the Ssangyong sales from verge of complete shutdown. It was finally acquired in February 2011 by Indian multinational automobile manufacturing company – Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, by bidding $522.5 billion against other companies such as Ruia Group, Seoul Investment, Renault Samsung and SM Aluminum.
Ownership & Management
The current share holders of Ssangyong Motor Company include Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (72.8%), Ssangyong Motor Co. Ltd (0.52%), the Vanguard Group Inc (0.21%), Dongbang Transport & Logistics Co Ltd (0.076%), LG Hausys Ltd (0.13%), Hyundai WIA Corporation (0.17%), Nixen Tire Group (0.057%), Mando Corporation (0.34%), Norges Bank Investment Management (0.19%) and Baring Asset Management Asia Ltd (0.27%). Ssangyong Motors is currently managed by company President & Chief Executive Officer Yoo II Lee, Chairman of Board Pawan Kumar Goenka, Vice President Jae Wan Lee, Managing Director Seung Hwan Chung, Executive Director Young Sik Shin and Vice President Johng Sik Choi.
Ssangyong offers a huge range of exclusive & premium car models for its customers to choose from. These models include body types such as sports utility vehicles, pickup trucks, vans, luxury cars and trucks & buses. The models currently in production & mass production all throughout the world include Chairman W, Kyron, Korando, Actyon, Rodius, Actyon Sports, Rexton W. Other notable models include SUVs - Rexton II, Musso, Korando Family, pickup trucks -Musso Sports; vans – Istan; luxury cars – Kallista, Chairman H, trucks & buses – SY Truck, Transtar etc.
Production & Marketing
Ssangyong owns manufacturing & assembly units in countries all over the world including those in Pyeongtaek (South Korea), Vladivostok (Russia) and Kremenchuk (Ukraine). It also had collaborated with Russian automobile manufacturing company Sollers JSC for models like Rexton II, kyron, New Acyton and Actyon Sorts, etc. According to a survey conducted in 2012, it had a total annual production of 119,142 units & earning total revenue of Won 2.874 trillion. Ssangyong has a decent market presence in Philippines along with other countries in Asia Pacific including Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei and Laos.