The story of Ssangyong

SsangYong - The First 67 years

1954 - 2021 

SsangYong Motor Company is the oldest and fourth largest automotive manufacturer in Korea. SsangYong, meaning “double dragon”, is a car manufacturer specialising in 4x4s, SUVs and pick-up trucks. Initially established in 1954, SsangYong Motor Company started producing trucks, busses, and special purpose vehicles for the export market, establishing the strong and reliable DNA of its products on the market today. The headquarters for SsangYong Motor Company is in the Gangnam district of Korea’s capital, Seoul, and its principal vehicle manufacturing plant is currently at Pyungtaek, which has the capacity and latest technology to produce 240,000 cars a year. The company is looking to move production to a new factory in the same area, that will be specifically built for SsangYong and to accommodate the production pf pure electric vehicles (pure-EVs). 

Although SsangYong origins can be traced back to 1954, it has since had associations with a number of other well-known automotive brands including Mercedes-Benz, Daewoo and SAIC - which now owns MG.  While in the past the company has utilised technology from other producers, notably Mercedes-Benz, it will continue its exciting programme of new models stretching into the 20’s, including vehicles with more eco-friendly engines and pure-electric powertrains, using its own components.

The brand really started developing modern four-wheel drive vehicles for the world market in the 1980s with a range that included first generation Korando and Musso in the early 1990s.  These were strong and dependable cars, and established the DNA of future product development.  Since 2000, further new models such as Musso, Rexton, Kyron and Korando have helped position SsangYong as a leader in the SUV market, while giving Korea its own complete SUV product range. 

In September 2010, the third iteration of Korando was presented to the world’s media, and represented a major step change for the brand.  This contemporary looking C-segment crossover was designed by Giugiaro, the celebrated Italian automotive designer, while also embracing monocoque construction for the first time, marking Korando as a signification product departure for SsangYong.

As Korea’s only SUV and 4x4 specialist manufacturer, SsangYong Motors has been committed to refreshing its entire product portfolio and has introduced six entirely new models in six years - Tivoli in 2015, Rexton in 2017, shortbed Musso pick-up truck in 2018, Korando in 2019, longbed Musso pick-up in 2020  and a a pure-EV Korando e-Motion in 2021 – all superseding previous generations. Looking into the near future, the company will launch three additional pure-EV's in the UK market to include a pick-up truck, a D-segment SUV and a B-segment SUV, to complement the C-segment SUV, Korando e-Motion. 

The brand first arrived in the UK in 1994 with the Musso.  Its proposition is to offer customers real value, both in terms of price, but also in the size of car and equipment levels and vehicles sold in the UK come with a market-leading five year limitless mileage warranty. 

In the UK, the brand's is represented by European automotive distributor, Bassadone Automotive Group, based in Gibraltar. The UK company has a 70-strong dealer network and continues to grow nationwide. 

Ha Dong Hwan Motor workshop

1954 Ha Dong Hwan Motor workshop

SsangYong was initially established as Ha Dong-Hwan Motor workshop in 1954. The company initially started producing trucks, busses and special purpose vehicles many of them for export.

Shinjin Jeep


Co-founded Shinjin Jeep and developed both hard and soft top Jeeps.

Dong A Motor Co Ltd.

1977 Dong-A-Motor

In 1977 the company, known at the time as Ha Dong-Hwan Motor Co changed its name to Dong A Motor Co Ltd.

Geohwa Co

1984 Acquired Geohwa

In 1984 SsangYong took over Geohwa Co and took over the name Korando, a contraction of the motto "Korean Can Do".

SsangYong Group

1986 SsangYong

In 1986 the SsangYong Group acquired the company and subsequently all vehicles were given the SsangYong name.

Daimler-Benz partnership

1991 Mercedes Benz partnership

In 1991 SsangYong formed a powerful partnership with Daimler-Benz. This allowed SsangYong to develop products using Mercedes-Benz technology.

SsangYong Musso

1993 Musso

The first vehicle launched using Mercedes technology was the large SUV the SsangYong Musso.

Korando 2

1996 Korando 2

The 'new' Korando was launched to compliment the SsangYong Musso and featured several engine options including both petrol and diesel.



Daewoo bought a majority stake in SsangYong and subsequently vehicles such as Korando were sold as the Daewoo until 2001.

first generation Rexton

2001 Rexton

The first generation of Rexton was launched using technology from Mercedes-Benz - Rexton furthered SsangYong's reputation for producing competent off-roaders.

SAIC, Rodius

2004 SAIC, Rodius

In 2004 SsangYong merged with Chinese Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC). 2004 also saw the company launch a large 7 seat MPV for the first time with Rodius.

3rd generation Korando

2011 Mahindra & Mahindra, Korando 3

Mumbai based Mahindra Motor Co, India's largest maker of utility vehicles acquired SsangYong. 2011 also launched the 3rd generation Korando, SsangYong's first monocoque and uses a new 2.0L home developed diesel engine.

Korando Sports

2012 Korando Sports

Launch of Korando Sports which brings a new level of refinement to the pick-up market.


2013 Turismo

Launch of Turismo, a much updated and improved version of the Rodius now with the 2.0L diesel engine and contemporary styling.

Rexton W

2014 Rexton W

Rexton W reached the UK in early 2014 with an all new look and now well proven SsangYong 2.0 litre diesel engine. Rexton W is set to build on its predecessor's reputation as a tough, no-nonsense off-roader and tow-car.

All-new Tivoli

2015 All-new Tivoli

2015 was an exciting year for SsangYong with the launch of Tivoli, a small crossover vehicle. Engineered in conjunction with Mahindra and powered by an all-new SsangYong 1.6L engine, Tivoli has become SsangYong’s best selling model yet!

Tivoli XLV

2016 Tivoli XLV

Bigger is better – Tivoli XLV features an extended body to create sector beating luggage space of 720 litres making Tivoli even more versatile

All-new Rexton

2017 All-new Rexton

Replacing a flagship model is always a big event, and 2017 saw the launch of the new Rexton – the 4th generation. With 3.5 tonnes towing, space for 7, massive off-road ability and an interior of a luxury car the new Rexton took the SsangYong brand to new heights.

Musso pick-up

2018 Musso pick-up

The launch of the new Musso in 2018 completes the renewal of our complete range under Mahindra and Mahindra management – based on the new Rexton, Musso has the ability to carry over a tonne and tow 3.5 tonnes at the same time. It’s also rather refined and well appointed as you would expect for a truck based on a top of the range SUV.

All-new Korando

2019 All-new Korando

The launch of the new Korando saw our product plan come full circle with a fully modern version of our towing favourite, the Korando. An all-new 1.5L turbocharged petrol engine was a big step as was the ‘blaze cockpit’ featuring cutting edge screens and mood lighting. But plenty of space for passengers and luggage and the ability to tow 2 tonnes are retained.

New Tivoli

2020 New Tivoli

The first major refresh for Tivoli brings new 1.2L and 1.5L turbocharged petrol engines, an uprated diesel and a cabin that takes the best of the technology from Korando whilst maintaining interior and boot space that can embarrass many a rival.

Musso Rhino LWB

2020 Musso Rhino LWB

In the world of pick-up’s big is best and Musso Rhino is the biggest of them all. With all the benefits of the standard Musso and an extra-long load deck carrying capacity is now the biggest in the market whilst retaining the ability to tow at the same time.


2020 J100

SsangYong Motor Company is set to launch another new electric SUV in 2022. Codenamed the J100, the mid-size SUV will be the second fully electric model from the brand after the recently revealed Korando e-Motion. These early renders suggest the car will have rugged looks, hinting at some off-road capability.

Korando goes electric

2021 Korando goes electric

Things are changing fast when it comes to fuel and SsangYong will be launching their own all-electric version of the Korando SUV in mid-2021 to ensure the future of the brand is secure. We assume it will be based on the 2019 Geneva Show concept vehicle E-SIV.


2021 X200

SsangYong Motor Company releases the design concept of its next-generation SUV. Under the code name of X200, the new vehicle carries the brand’s newly created design vision and philosophy, presenting the value and future direction of its new products.