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SsangYong back into gear

Signs of life: SsangYong is planning to turn up at the Seoul motor show with the C200 - an SUV with an Aussie-made transmission.

SsangYong’s decision to show its C200 SUV at Seoul is a fillip for Albury factory

18 Mar 2009

KOREA’S SsangYong Motor will show its near-production C200 compact SUV at the Seoul motor show in early April – a good sign for Albury-based Drivetrain Systems International (DSI).

The C200 is a key part of DSI’s future as it is likely to be the first production vehicle to use DSI’s new six-speed front-wheel-drive/all-wheel-drive transmission, provided SsangYong can survive its own financial strife.

DSI’s production line for the new transmission is only partly built, and a firm order from SsangYong would be a big plus for the Albury operation, which is being auctioned by its receiver, Stephen Longley, of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Designed to compete with the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, the C200 holds a lot of promise for SsangYong as it breaks away from the company’s established approach.

For a start, the C200 was styled by Giugiaro’s ItalDesign styling studio, which makes the C200 the best-looking SsangYong yet.

In addition, the C200 will be the first SsangYong to use monocoque construction instead of a ladder frame. It can be made in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.

28 center imageThe C200, which was shown in concept form at the Paris motor show last year, also will be the first vehicle to use SsangYong’s new 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, which meets Euro V emission standards and produces 131kW. No torque figure is yet available.

The C200 also makes extensive use of aluminium suspension components and has also been designed to have a lower centre of gravity.

SsangYong will also display its Kyron hybrid SUV at the Seoul show.

The hybrid system will combine a diesel engine with an electric motor. Emissions and consumption will be further reduced by idle-stop technology on the diesel engine.

SsangYong is controlled by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation and is in receivership.

A Korean court will decide on May 22 if SsangYong will be given protection from its creditors and be allowed to restructure itself after a steep fall in sales late last year and in January this year.

Read more:

Albury transmission plant set for sale this month

Albury transmission plant into receivership

SsangYong avoids bankruptcy

The Road to Recovery podcast series

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