SsangYong makes a comeback

The Kroymans Group reintroduces the brand to the German market

SsangYong plans to reestablish itself in the German vehicle market, says Dietmar Huptas, managing director of SsangYong Motor Deutschland GmbH in Neuss.

"This time we will succeed," Huptas said.

Huptas is still annoyed that the South Korean brand disappeared in 1999 after four years on the German market. The importer, the Walter-Hagen Group based in Krefeld, went bankrupt in 1998. Huptas was the after-sales and homologation manager there.

In 2000, Daewoo, which had taken over all SsangYong activities from Hagen in Germany, also folded.

The trading company Kroymans Corp. of Hilversum, The Netherlands, plans to put SsangYong back on the German market. The sales group, with 100 subsidiaries and revenue of 1.2 billion euros in 2002, wants to expand.

Kroymans is already one of the three largest importers of spare parts for automobiles in the Benelux countries: Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The group has its own repair workshops, runs car-rental firms and is involved in the insurance and financial industry. It also sells new cars.

In the Benelux countries Kroymans imports Ferrari, Jaguar and Aston Martin and also sells Ford and Opel. Kroymans has sold SsangYong in the Netherlands since 1996 and since 1998 in Belgium and Luxembourg. Kroymans sold approximately 500 SsangYongs last year.

Now Kroymans is coming to Germany. The company wants to open several Saab showrooms in 2003 and hopes to sell 200 to 300 SsangYong sport-utilities by year-end.

SsangYong Motor Deutschland has contracted only three dealers so far. Huptas hopes to find nine more partners by the end of the year.

Huptas' target for 2008 is 50 SsangYong dealers and 250 service centers in Germany. Kroymans will give those dealers financial help in the start-up phase.

During the start-up phase, Huptas expects each dealer to sell 100 units of the three available off-road models.

Two of them, the Korando and Musso, are aging models. The Rexton, styled by Giugiaro, is new. All three offer engines built by Mercedes-Benz. By the end of 2004 a van will be launched.

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