Remember how we chortled about the crudity of Hyundai and Kia cars? The 1990s Hyundai Pony, wrote one rag, was Korea’s answer to the 1974 Morris Marina.

Just look at those two companies now. Their combined might puts them fifth in the league table of world car makers, not so far behind Toyota, GM, the VW Group and Ford — not to mention ahead of some mighty concerns such as Nissan, Renault, PSA Peugeot Citroën and Fiat-Chrysler.

Hyundai and Kia's cars are very good.

So, maybe it’s time to start taking Ssangyong seriously. Sure, they won’t be threatening world domination for a while, what with worldwide sales last year below 170,000. But even with their new recovery plan only just kickstarted (by a successful, two-pronged SUV range - the Tivoli and Tivoli XLV) sales are starting to build.

Better still, company officials are showing an impressive and obvious desire to succeed. The products aren’t yet class leaders, but they have a competence and a quality that already puts them ahead of some contenders, and at attractive prices.