SsangYong Motor Company has indicated that a name change to KG Mobility indicates a “paradigm shift” in the business which will bring a greater focus on electric vehicles (EV), autonomous cars and artificial intelligence (AI).
The shift was confirmed in a shareholders meeting held at the company’s headquarters in Pyeongtaek today (March 23), five months after Mahindra and Mahindra’s controlling stake in the Korean OEM was acquired by the KG Group – ending a turbulent period for the business.
KG Mobility said it now plans to focus on new mobility technologies such as EV-dedicated platforms, software defined vehicles (SDV), autonomous vehicles and AI “in line with the paradigm shift”.
A spokesperson for KG Mobility said: “We have changed our name after 35-years and have taken the first step towards change and development into a future mobility company.
“By focusing on the design and development of future vehicles utilising new technologies such as EV-dedicated platforms, software-defined vehicles, autonomous vehicles and AI etc., the company is really embracing change, and we will grow and develop as a proud and respected future automotive mobility partner.”
In the UK, SsangYong Motor UK hailed its 2021 return to profitability, after seven years of losses, as a “major milestone”.
During the period, in which the business added 21 new retail partners, the UK operation, run by Gibraltar-based distributor Bassadone Automotive Group, delivered a 18.6% rise in turnover to £44.2 million and turned around a £4.7m pre-tax loss in 2020 to deliver a £506,000 profit.
Last year also saw the launch of the brand’s first zero-emissions vehicle, the Korando e-Motion SUV.
Kevin Griffin, managing director of SsangYong Motor UK, shared his optimism for the future in-light of today’s name change and shift in strategic direction for the OEM.
“Whilst the last few years have been unsettled for SsangYong, the future is bright,” he said.
“The KG Group has accelerated early management normalisation by increasing sales and making profit.
“The future growth of the company will be based on a move towards electrification, starting with the successful international launch of the new Torres SUV model.
“With regards to the company change of name, we will confirm more detail around the impact to the UK in due course.”
The KG Group is large Korean company, established in 2003, which operates through its affiliates in various industries including chemicals, steel, hospitality, and media.
A statement issued after today’s shareholders’ meeting said that SsangYong Motor was an opportunity for KG’s M&A expansion, and an entrance into the automotive industry, with particular focus on electrification.
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