But will they bring sports cars as good as the Hyundai Genesis?
At first, when South Korean brands like Kia and Hyundai tried to enter the US market with base-level econo-boxes, people laughed and waged bets on how long they’d last. After all, the US market is tough for foreign companies to crack, but decades later, we still see Hyundais and Kias roaming American streets - and they are starting to turn heads wherever they go. Now, South Korean automaker Ssangyong wants to follow these steps and import its SUVs to America by 2019 in a move that will be make-or-break for the company.
Ssangyong is South Korea’s 4th largest automaker and was barely rescued from bankruptcy in 2011 by Indian company Mahindra. Ssangyong says that it will invest $100 million to come up with US- compliant SUVs under a different name because there aren’t too many Americans who would buy a car with a Ssangyong badge. The company has previously tried to inject itself into the US market but hasn’t been successful. Part of the reason for renewing this decision is that China and Russia, the company’s largest markets, impose high import tariffs that hurt its sales, so this move is a last ditch effort for survival. Only time will tell if Ssangyong’s notoriously ugly SUVs will make it overseas.