SsangYong’s future in the UK has been secured following a 70% acquisition of the Korean company by Indian engineering conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra.
Led by Paul Williams, managing director of the current importer, Koelliker UK, the new business is to be called SsangYong Motor UK (SYMUK). It has been created from the purchase of shares in Koelliker UK from the Italian based Gruppo Koelliker by the European automotive distribution company, Bassadone Automotive Group.
All employees of Koelliker UK will transfer to the new business with immediate effect.
While securing the importing and distribution rights for the UK, this move for SsangYong also means that the launch of the new Korando - the brand’s first entry into the crossover segment - can proceed.
The current network of UK SsangYong dealers will be expanded from 50 to 65.
Williams said: “This is superb news for our dealers and customers who have been so loyal to the brand.
“Shipments of the new Korando, as well as 2012 specification Rexton 2 and Rodius models will begin to arrive within the next few weeks.
“In addition to the current model line up, SsangYong is actively working on a number of new products, including range extensions to Korando as well as an electric vehicle. The first of these will be seen at the Frankfurt motor show in September.”
Williams has ambitious sales targets and aspirations for the brand in the UK. He said the brand would continue to aim its products at the caravan/trailer and rural markets with its product range, while the new Korando crossover will expand its appeal into more mainstream and fleet sectors.
SsangYong Motor UK will operate from the existing parts logistics centre in Luton and administration office in Fleet.