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Korean car company set for shock name change

SsangYong could soon become known as KG Mobility.

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SsangYong could soon become known as KG Mobility.

South Korean car manufacturer Ssangyong is reportedly considering ditching its current name in favor of a moniker more reflective of its new ownership group.

SsangYong was acquired by KG Group, a chemical and steel firm, last August. The company could soon become known as KG Mobility instead.

In comments made earlier this week to the Korea Automobile Journalist Association, KG Group chairman Kwak Jae-sun is reported as saying that the switch is a done deal pending the agreement of shareholders in March.

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“We have decided to go for a new name to fully utilize the strength of SsangYong Motor,” said Kwak. “Under the name of SsangYong, the company has a fandom but also has a painful image. […] The new cars will come out as KG, but its car-making history will never change and have the same conditions.”

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In a brief statement issued to Korean outlet Pulse News, a SsangYong Motor representative said that the possibility of rebranding was popular among current employees.

This badge could soon become a thing of the past.

Supplied/Stuff

This badge could soon become a thing of the past.

“Through a company survey, the company found a consensus among employees on the rebranding and we are pursuing a new company name in line with the trend of electrification,” said the representative.

Stuff has made contact with a local SsangYong representative for comment, and had not received a response at the time of writing.

The news follows a tumultuous period for the brand. After splitting with former parent company Mahindra, it looked to have finally secured a replacement in October 2021 in the form of Edison Motors, only for the deal to fall over in early 2022.

The all-new SsangYong Torres was revealed last year, earning the brand plenty of kudos.

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The all-new SsangYong Torres was revealed last year, earning the brand plenty of kudos.

Against this backdrop of financial challenges, SsangYong has persevered – making several significant new-car announcements. These include confirmation that it is working on a fully electric ute, and debuting the bold looking Torres SUV in June of last year.

SsangYong has endured several name changes in the past. The company was initially known as the Ha Dong-Hwan Motor workshop before becoming Ha Dong-Hwan Motor Co, with that name eventually evolving to Dong-A Motor.

The name SsangYong debuted in the late 1980s, with some models briefly sold as Daewoos in the late 1990s when the (now defunct) brand held a controlling stake in SsangYong.

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