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A Brief History of SsangYong Cars

SsangYong began life back in 1954, as the Hadonghwan Motor Company, originally building Jeeps for the US Army. After a name change to Dong-A Motor in 1977 the company went on to be taken over by the SsangYong Business Group in 1988 and a further name change was made to SsangYong Motors. The name SsangYong translates to mean "twin dragons".

Other mergers and buyouts were soon to follow, in 1991 SsangYong entered into a technology-sharing agreement with Daimler-Benz and shortly after that the company bought Panther Westwinds, a company that specialised in retro-styled cars based on production mechanicals. Daewoo motors were the next to take an interest in Korea's fourth-largest car manufacturer and in 1997 they bought a controlling stake in the company only to relinquish it in the year 2000, due to severe financial irregularities. Daewoo's founder was given an 8½ year prison sentence and a fine of 21 trillion won, a figure that equates to 22 billion dollars. SsangYong's latest partner is the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) who took a 49% stake in 2004.

SsangYong's expertise in 4 x 4 vehicles dates back over fifty years and this reflects in the model range today, they produce two four-wheel-drive SUVs and one seven-seat MPV. The range may be small but SsangYong packs plenty of standard kit into their vehicles and if you want an SUV that comes fully loaded for around £20,000 you could do a lot worse than looking at the SsangYong range. The current SsangYong model range includes the Korando, Tivoli and Rexton.

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