Ssangyong Motor Company has confirmed it will rebrand as KG Mobility under its new owner, the KG Group.
The change was today approved by shareholders, having been announced by new chairman Kwak Jea-sun on 4 January.
He was quoted by the Korea Herald as saying: “The name Ssangyong Motor has a fandom with good memories, but it also has a painful image. From now, all Ssangyong cars will come out to the world under the name of KG.”
The Korean manufacturer was purchased by KG for 950 billion won (AUD$1.1 billion) in August 2022, ending nearly two years of uncertainty.
Ssangyong had filed for receivership – volunteering for a dramatic restructuring overseen by the Korean courts – in December 2020, after previous owner Mahindra withdrew all investment, having failed to turn the business around in a decade under its wing.
It was almost purchased for $350m by Edison Motors, a nascent Korean company producing electric buses and commercial vehicles, but the deal fell through after Edison failed to meet a payment deadline in March 2022.
The Korea Economic Daily reported after the deal broke down that unionised workers at Ssangyong had opposed the buyout, doubting Edison’s ability to finance the company.
The changes don’t affect the forthcoming launch of the Ssangyong Torres EV, the firm’s second electric car.
Ssangyong is Korea’s oldest car manufacturer, founded in 1954. It adopted its current name in 1986 after being acquired by the Ssangyong Group. It was previously known as Ha Dong-Hwan Motor and then Dong-A-Motor.
Producing a series of competitively priced, hardy 4x4s and family cars, Ssangyong has historically struggled to make an impression outside Korea.
Under KG, the company now plans to focus on EV-specific platforms and developing software-defined vehicles, with planned features including autonomous driving and integration of artificial intelligence (AI).
A spokesperson for KG Mobility said: “By focusing on the design and development of future vehicles utilising new technologies such as EV-dedicated platforms, software-defined vehicles, autonomous vehicles and AI etc, the company is really embracing change, and we will grow and develop as a proud and respected future automotive mobility partner.”