Industry sources have told just-auto that Ssangyong is planning CKD assembly of its upcoming compact SUV in Russia.
The troubled firm – still in bankruptcy and being managed by a Seoul court – is working on a deal with Russian firm Sollers for the assembly of its C200 model at a Sollers facility in Vladivostok, a far flung outpost in Russia’s ‘far east’.
It is planned that the assembled kits will then be shipped to European Russia and other parts of the CIS by rail, the process helped by subsidies from Moscow.
The Sollers plant already produces Ssangyong off-road vehicles and Isuzu trucks. The output of the plant is planned to grow from 15,000 vehicles in 2010 to 40,000 vehicles annually by 2012 when the Ssangyong C200 (to be badged Korando C in Korea) will have been added.
Production of the RAV4-sized C200 in Korea is scheduled to begin in July, with Korean market sales commencing in August. The new model, which was under development well before the firm went into bankruptcy in Korea early last year, comes with high hopes and is being seen as likely to play a crucial part in Ssangyong’s future recovery under a new owner.
Outside investors are being sought for Ssangyong and the deadline for letters of intent has been set for May 28. A number of firms have reportedly expressed interest in Ssangyong and are said to be considering bids, including Mahindra & Mahindra.