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Ssangyong plans comeback with new product line

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Since the Asian economic crisis of the late 1990s Ssangyong has gone through a succession of owners - Daewoo, China's SAIC and now India's Mahindra & Mahindra which rescued the company from Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year.

All of which has led to considerable uncertainty in the UK, but with the new Giugiaro-styled Korando crossover coming into the dealerships, further confidence comes with new a distributor, Gibraltar based Bassadone Automotive Group.

Still at the helm of the UK operations is managing director Paul Williams. He said: "Bassadone has been involved since the summer and the group has a lot of experience in vehicle distribution in Europe and Africa with a number of brands.

"For the first time we have some secure financial backing and I can plan with confidence for the future."

The new Korando enters the fastest-growing segment in the UK, the C-crossover, alongside Korean rivals such as the Kia Sportage and Hyundai ix35, as well as rivals such as the UK-built Nissan Qashqai.

In the Sssangyong showrooms it joins the Rexton SUV and Rodius MPV, both of which will get new Euro 5 engines next year, says marketing and communications chief Steve Gray.

Also in the pipeline are a new pick-up, due next spring, and a B-segment crossover in 2013.

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