Shake-up for Ssangyong

* New importer for Korean car maker * Simplified range and lower prices on the cards * 60-strong dealer network reassured...

Shake-up for Ssangyong

The new year means a fresh start for the Ssangyong brand, with a new importer promising a simplified model line-up and lower prices.

The old importer, Ssangyong UK, went into administration late last year. A new company, Koelikker UK, has acquired the vehicle stock, offices and parts supply.

The new company is part of one of Italys biggest automotive groups. The managing director, Paul Williams, was formerly the boss at Kia, and has pledged to turn around the brands fortunes.

'Ssangyong registrations in 2007 were over 30% down. But there is considerable potential for Ssangyong in the UK,' said Williams.

'We have already been to Korea to explain our plans and to see the new models in the pipeline. We now want to share those plans with the dealer network, including a simplified and revised product range, new pricing, brand positioning and what we will do to relaunch and market Ssangyong, starting immediately.'