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SsangYong returns

Berjaya Auto is new distributor

SsangYong Korando

SsangYong Korando

South Korean automotive marque, SsangYong, is returning to the Philippine market, under a new and exclusive distributor, SsangYong Berjaya Auto Philippines, Inc. (SBMP). SBMP is a part of the Malaysian Berjaya Group of Companies. Its sister company, Berjaya Auto Philippines, has been the distributor and importer of Mazda vehicles since 2013.

SsangYong Managing  Director, David Macasadia

SsangYong Managing
Director, David Macasadia

Helming SBMP as chairman is Francis Lee, an Executive Director of the Berjaya Group of Companies, chairman of Berjaya Auto Philippines, and Executive Director of Bermaz Motor, the exclusive distributor of Mazda in Malaysia since 2008. Serving as Managing Director is former Mazda Director for Customer Service, After Sales and General Counsel, David Macasadia, an auto industry veteran of 25 years.

SBMP will initially offer three vehicles; the Tivoli compact crossover, the Korando SUV and the Rodius MPV. The Tivoli and Korando will be available with gas and diesel engines while the Rodius will be exclusively diesel. All vehicles will conform to the latest EURO4 and higher standards. Vehicles deliveries will begin in April, with four dealerships (two in Metro Manila, one in Visayas, and one in Mindanao) planned. It aims to sell 500 units by the end of the year.

Existing owners of SsangYong vehicles will also benefit from the automaker’s return as the dealer network will welcome all SsangYong customers that wish to avail of service support, whether their vehicle was purchased through the gray market or former distributors. “They now have a home again for their Ssangyong vehicles,” said Macasadia.

SsangYong’s return to the Philippines is timely as the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA) has recently lowered import taxes on Korean-made vehicles from 20 percent to 5 percent this year. This will allow SsangYong to offer their vehicles at more competitive prices.

Besides the Philippines, the Berjaya group has also secured distribution rights of Ssangyong vehicles for the main ASEAN markets, with Malaysian assembly of the Tivoli planned. Philippine models, however, will be imported directly from South Korea.

SsangYong Tivoli  compact crossover

SsangYong Tivoli
compact crossover

SsangYong is South Korea’s fourth largest automotive manufacturer. A 70 percent share of SsangYong was acquired by Indian manufacturer, Mahindra & Mahindra Limited, in February 2011. Mahindra’s acquisition, retaining South Korean management of the company, was approved by South Korea’s Free Trade Commission. SsangYong, along with Italian design firm, Pininfarina, are Mahindra’s latest automotive industry acquisitions.

Pricing for SsangYong’s models, variants, and specifications will be announced closer to the official start of operations.

  • ice15

    Tivoli looks interesting…

    Hope they price it competitively