The South Korean automaker would love to earn some US green.
Never heard of Ssangyong? Don’t worry, you’re probably not the first. But for anyone who’s traveled to or lives in the Far East or Europe, Ssangyong cars are a fairly common site. The builder of popular models like the Korando C and the butt-ugly Rodius van was a major financial mess only five years ago. It filed for bankruptcy in 1999 and attempted to layoff a good chunk of its workforce. The employees didn’t really like that, so some set fire to parts of its South Korea plant and proceeded to illegally occupy it for two months.
Army commandos were later sent in to end the situation. That was then, and today’s Ssangyong is a very different automaker. It managed to reorganize and get major financial assistance from India’s Mahindra & Mahindra. Those once pyromaniac employees are now back at work and very happy. And 2013 was a very good sales year, especially for overseas markets. Now a company spokesperson has confirmed plans to bring Ssangyong to North America, but not before it changes its name. Company execs rightly believe "Ssangyong" isn’t the best- sounding name for the world’s most appealing market. No exact dates or timetable were given, but Ssangyong is very eager to expand and it feels the US is the best place to do just that.