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Ssangyong Motor reenters Philippines

By Ahn Sung-mi

Ssangyong Motor is reentering the Philippine market after an eight-year hiatus, the company said Tuesday.

The automaker, owned by India’s auto giant Mahindra & Mahindra, will begin selling its vehicles, including the brand’s popular Tivoli compact SUVs in the country.

Earlier in December, Ssangyong Motor formed a contract with local distributor Ssangyong Berjaya Auto Philippines, part of the Malaysian Berjaya Group, to resume sales of Ssangyong cars in the country, which had ceased in 2009 due to the country’s high tariffs.

In April, Ssangyong brought the new Korando C, Rodius, Tivoli and Tivoli Air to the Manila International Auto Show in April, gearing up its return to the market.

The automaker also invited reporters from the Philippines to South Korea for a three-day trip. Reporters on Aug. 22 visited the assembly plant in Pyongtaek, South Gyeonggi Province, which manufactures the brand’s popular Tivoli compact SUVs.

On Aug. 23, the reporters will visit Ssangyong’s plant in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, which produces gasoline and diesel engines for the vehicles.

“Philippine reporters rode Tivoli for a test drive and were very interested in the car,” Song Young-han, senior managing director of Ssangyong, said. “We will expand global sales by pioneering new growing markets such as the Philippines and in Europe.”