Two years after pulling out of Europe’s biggest market that is Germany, South Korean automaker SsangYong is back to sell cars once again. The automaker said it has set up a new German base of operations in Kerpen near Cologne and that it will now work with Alcadis, Europe's Belgium-based SsangYong importer and one of Europe’s biggest importers, to offer four models to German customers. In 2009, Alcadis sold 41,000 cars in the region.
Veteran manager Ulrich Mehling is SsangYong Germany’s new head with 20 years of experience in the auto industry working for companies like Saab, General Motors Co. and Alfa Romeo.
He said SsangYong’s primary goal will be to quickly establish a network of dealers and is, at the moment, in negotiations with a large number of existing car distributors.
SsangYong had 110 dealers at one time in Germany and worked with the Dutch importer Kroymans Corp. before leaving the market.
Two years ago, SsangYong sought bankruptcy protection after higher fuel prices and the global recession squeezed sales of its mainstay SUVs. Late in 2010, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., India's largest SUV maker, said it will pay KPW427.1 billion ($378 million) for a 70 percent controlling stake in SsangYong. [via autonews - sub. required]