Find or Sell any Parts for Your Vehicle in USA

The story behind SsangYong’s UK relaunch

Mon, 02 Jun 2008

By Richard Aucock

Motor Industry

02 June 2008 09:49

SsangYong is back in the UK. Bet you didn’t even know it had gone. Or, indeed, that it was here at all.

Therein lines the failure of the old lot, now in administration, says new MD Paul Williams. Heading up new importer Koelliker UK, a division (securely funded, he stresses) of Italian giant Gruppe Koelliker, Williams oversaw a 350 per cent sales increase under his watch as boss of Kia UK. Now he’s looking to turn around SsangYong – from less than 2000 UK sales in 2007 to a potential 10,000 sales by 2009.

Concerns about the UK’s importer were raised by SsangYong HQ early in 2007. SsangYong was doing well in other countries, so why not in one of Europe’s biggest markets? Williams was approached, and concluded that things were so bad and dealers so demotivated, it may just have been well to start again from scratch. The factory preferred a soft landing instead.

The Koelliker deal was signed in late December 2007. Williams immediately appointed a management team and worked all over Christmas. First job? Slash prices. Models were naively priced, topping out at £25,000; now two entry-level models start at £14,995, with logical steps between trims.

Click ‘Next’ to find out more about SsangYong’s relaunch

By Richard Aucock