Delayed crossover finally expected to be launched next year
11 November 2009

Ssangyong is confident it will launch its new C200 crossover in 2010, despite continued fears over the firm’s future.

The production C200 was scheduled to be launched at the Frankfurt motor show in September, and due on sale in the UK in March. But several weeks of strike action at the firm's Pyeongtaek factory in South Korea and the continued state of Korean court-approved bankruptcy protection have indefinitely delayed the C200’s launch.

Ssangyong's future in doubt

Ssangyong is confident on exiting bankruptcy protection at the next court meeting for its creditors, scheduled for 11 December. The firm has presented a new business plan and almost 100 per cent of shareholders and guarantee/mortgage creditors agreed to the proposals.

But non-guarantee/mortgage creditors rejected the offer made to them and are holding out for more money. Ssangyong will hold talks with these bondholders in the hope of reaching an agreement by the next meeting, although the Korean court has the power to force bondholders to accept Ssangyong’s offer.

While the court proceedings are ongoing, a Ssangyong source told Autocar that the firm is unable to commit to a date when the C200 can be formally launched.

“We’re hopeful that we will be able to launch it next year,” said the source. “But we’re still not in a position to at the moment and we’re behind schedule due to these proceedings. This is mainly due to the strike action, as it halted R&D on the car.”

The source said the firm is likely to appear at a European motor show next year, but wouldn’t confirm which one.

“I anticipate we will be at a show next year,” said the source. “Which one is not known at the minute and the C200’s launch can only go forward when we know the outcome of the court proceedings.”

Last month, Ssangyong sold 60 cars in the UK. The firm has sold so far 726 cars this year, which is 276.7 per cent up on this time last year.

Mark Tisshaw

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