Published on January 5th, 2023 | by Subhash Nair


SsangYong Motors Will Change Its Name, But Not For The First Time

The oldest Korean car company, SsangYong looks to start fresh this year with a new image.

SsangYong Motors has been in the news quite often over the last couple of years and mostly the news has been negative. Korea, today seen as a global automotive powerhouse thanks to the Hyundai and its affiliated brands, still has to deal with the loss-making SsangYong and its poor reputation. Well, that all may change in 2023 as the KG Consortium completes its acquisition of the country’s oldest automotive company and initiates a rebranding strategy. The rebranding strategy is a thorough one that will likely involve ditching the SsangYong name.

This piece of information was more or less confirmed by KG Group Chairman Kwak Jea-sun. At an event for the Korean media, he acknowledged the fans and good memories of SsangYong, but also said that SsangYong carries a ‘painful image’. While Ssangyong’s history would be preserved, the company and its products would henceforth carry the ‘KG’ branding instead. The rebranding exercise is all but confirmed. The only hurdle left is shareholder approval in March.

2022 SsangYo2022 SsangYong Rexton UK Speng Rexton UK Spec rear

SsangYong Motors History

Before the company was known as SsangYong, it was originally two separate companies – Ha Dong-hwan Motor Workshop and Dongbang Motor Co. These two companies merged in 1963 and became the Hadonghwan Motor Company. It later diversified its product range and changed its name to Dong-A Motor in 1977. Dong-A Motor went on to acquire Keohwa, an assembler of Jeeps. In 1986, the company was purchased by the SsangYong Business Group.

Dong-A Motor officially changed its name to SsangYong Motor in 1988. The company then acquired UK car maker Panther Westwinds before forming a technology partnership with Daimler-Benz. In 1997, Daewoo Motors bought a controlling stake from the SsangYong Group before selling it off 3 years later.


Later, in 2004, the Chinese automotive giant SAIC bought a majority stake in the company. After loads of trouble with SAIC, the company was once again sold, this time to Mahindra & Mahindra Limited. Indian ownership was also tough, and so an electric bus maker Edison attempted to purchase the company. Only in June 2022 did the KG Group emerge as the new owner of SsangYong Motor.

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