SsangYong To Change Name To KG Mobility Because Of “Painful Image”
SsangYong, the oldest automaker from South Korea, was acquired by the KG Group last year and its new owner is planning a name change. Later this year, the manufacturer will be renamed to KG Mobility and all its products will receive a new KG logo. The information was confirmed earlier this week by KG Group’s chairman, Kwak Jea-sun.
“The name – SsangYong Motor – has a fandom with good memories, but it also has a painful image,” Kwak told media representatives during an event held by the Korea Automobile Journalists Association in Seoul. “From now, all SsangYong cars will come out to the world under the name of KG. Even with the name change, SsangYong Motor’s history will not change and [the automaker] will have the same conditions.”
SsangYong traces its origins to an automaker originally founded in 1954 but the name SsangYong first appeared in the late 1980s. The South Korean automaker was later acquired by Daewoo, followed by ownerships from China’s SAIC Motor and India’s Mahindra & Mahindra. Most recently, KG Group became the owner of the brand last year. The name change will have to be approved by the shareholders during a meeting in March this year.
If the change gets the green light, it will also be supported by a complete marketing overhaul of the marque, including the brand logo and corporate identity. The current name of the company has been in use for the last 35 years and Kwak admitted the name change was an extremely difficult decision. According to The Korea Herald, the new KG Mobility name probably signals a potential shift in SsangYong’s business strategy from a traditional automaker into a mobility firm.
It will be interesting to see whether the name change will come with a product portfolio overhaul and whether SsangYong’s ambitions will become global. Currently, the brand sells vehicles in South Korea, Australia, Europe, and a few other markets. Most recently, it introduced the Torres SUV as a new addition to its South Korean model range.