Date: 19 July 2011

BRIGHT FUTURE DAWNS FOR SSANGYONG IN THE UK

SsangYong Korando

Sports utility pick up - SUT1

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Paul Williams, director & CEO of SsangYong Motor UK

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George Bassadone, director & executive group chairman and Kevin Jones, director & group CEO of SYMUK

 
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The future of SsangYong as a global vehicle producer has recently been secured following a 70 per cent acquisition of the Korean company by Indian engineering conglomerate Mahindra & Mahindra, and now the brand’s future in the UK is assured thanks to new investment in the importing company.

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 major strategic move for SsangYong also means that the launch of the new Korando - the brand’s first entry into the all-important crossover segment - can proceed without delay, and the present network of 50 dealers expanded to 65.

“This is superb news for our dealers and customers who have been so loyal to the brand,” commented Mr Williams.  “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.  See below.

“We have ambitious sales targets and aspirations for the brand in the UK.  We will continue to aim our four-wheel drive products at the caravan/trailer and rural markets, while the Korando crossover and its derivatives enable us to expand into the mainstream car market and fleet sector.  To this end we intend introducing a number of exciting marketing initiatives.”

SsangYong Motor UK will operate from the existing parts logistics centre in Luton and administration office in Fleet.

UK model line up

Korando - This all new crossover model which was designed in Europe by Giugiaro, will be available in three trim levels - S, ES and EX, the choice of two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, and manual and automatic transmission.  Prices will be confirmed at the launch, but expected to range from below £17,000 to around £23,000.

Rexton 2 - The seven seat Rexton 2 will be available as the 270 S with manual or automatic transmission, and 270 EX with automatic transmission as standard.  On the road prices start from £19,995.

A commercial variant, the Rexton CS, will also be available with two seats, a good sized load area (2.2 cubic metres) and either manual of automatic transmission.  Prices start from £19,944.

Rodius - Rodius will be available as the 270 S manual, the 270 ES with a choice of either manual or automatic transmission, and the top specification 270 EX with all-wheel drive and automatic transmission.  All models have seven seats as standard, and on the road prices start from £14,995.

Frankfurt Motor Show

While the cars to be exhibited at Frankfurt in September have yet to be confirmed, it is expected that SsangYong will use the event to showcase a number of new model concepts, while SUT1, the sports utility pick up shown in concept form at Geneva will also be seen in market ready form.

- ends -

About Bassadone Automotive Group

Founded in 1904, the Bassadone Automotive Group now comprises 11 automotive companies with interests in northern and southern Europe.  These include:

North Western Europe

SsangYong Motor UK- Importer and distributor of SsangYong for the United Kingdom.

North Eastern Europe

Simetron Group - Importer and distributor of Hyundai, Suzuki and Isuzu for Finland and the Baltic States.

Nordic Automotive Services - Importer and distributor for Renault and Dacia in Finland.

Iberian Peninsular - domestic market

Sino Motors SL - Established to import Chinese and Indian products to Spain, and already the importer and distributor of Mahindra.

Distribuciones y Automociones Zahareñas - Two Toyota dealerships and a Hyundai dealership in Southern Spain.

Bassadone Motors - Official dealer/distributor of Toyota, Honda, Suzuki, Peugeot, Hyundai and Kia in Gibraltar, with financing available from Industrial Finance Corporation.

Iberian Peninsular - worldwide

Toyota Gibraltar Stockholding- Toyota Motor Corporation’s official supplier of 4x4 vehicles to aid & humanitarian agencies worldwide.

Armoured Project Vehicles - Provides discreetly protected armoured vehicles to government organisations, United Nations organisations, and aid and charity networks.  Operates from Spain and Poland.

Star Project Vehicles - Official distributor of Mercedes-Benz trucks, buses and vans and the Mitsubishi Fuso range to UN and humanitarian organisations worldwide.

Chrysler Commercial Distribution Services - Worldwide distribution contract for the Jeep J8 to the military.

The Group employs over 300 staff and sold in excess of 10,000 new vehicles in 2010.

Management biographies for SsangYong Motor UK

Paul Williams - director and CEO

Paul has spent much of his career in the automotive industry at senior executive level working for successful independent importers and manufacturer owned distribution businesses in the United Kingdom.  He has been managing director of Koelliker UK for the past three years.

His previous roles have included:

- Managing director - Kia Motors (UK)

- Sales and marketing director - Mitsubishi Motors UK

- Managing director - Daihatsu UK

George Bassadone - director & executive group chairman

With over 30 years experience in the motor industry, George Bassadone is the driving force behind the Bassadone Automotive Group, and will be executive chairman of SsangYong Motor UK.

Kevin Jones - director & group CEO

A qualified accountant, Kevin Jones joined the Group in 1990, and became group CEO in 2004. Involved in all areas of group activity, he has been instrumental in developing their Toyota export business.  He will also become a director of SYMUK.

To download hi-res images via the LawsonClarke PR on-line press office go to: http://www.lawsonclarke.com/releases/ssangyong/2011/64726ssa.htm

For all the latest news as it happens, follow us on Twitter - @SYMotorUK

Further information: Media contact:
Paul Williams  Jeremy Clarke / Sue Hitchcock
Managing director  LawsonClarke PR
SsangYong Motor UK  4 Dollar Street
Unit M   Cirencester
Presidents Way  Glos
Luton LU2 9NL  GL7 2AJ
Tel: 01582 488192 Tel: 01285 658844
E-mail:p.williams@koellikerukltd.co.uk  E-mail: clarke@lawsonclarke.co.uk

Ref: SY08/2011