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Ssangyong’s new Chairman W targets VIPs

July 11, 2011 - 19:13 By 김연세
The new Chairman W

Company offers unprecedented seven-year care service plan to customers

Ssangyong Motor Co., which launched the new Chairman W in the local market last week, is to provide consumers with a long-period guarantee service.

The service, dubbed “W Promise 715 program,” offers customers free-of-charge car inspections for seven years, the automaker said in a statement on Monday.

Customers are allowed to apply for the inspection once every year for seven years as long as the car’s mileage is less than 150,000 kilometers.

“I believe the program will mark an epoch-making quality care service for VIP consumers of the luxury premium sedan,” a company spokesman said.

Those purchasing the new Chairman W will also enjoy a variety of cultural events including visiting prestigious art galleries, he said.

The New Chairman W comes in three trims ― CW600 equipped with a 3.2-liter engine, CW700 with a 3.6-liter engine and V8 5000 that comes with a 5-liter engine.

The 3.2-liter engine produces maximum horsepower of 225 and maximum torque of 30.2 kilogram-meters.

The new Chairman W features auto-leveling headlamps and four-tronic all-wheel drive system.

It is also fitted with a large number of high-tech safety features including a tire pressure monitoring system, brake assist system and a set of 10 airbags.

With the unveiling of the new Chairman W, Ssangyong Motor is preparing for keen sales competition with Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors in the premium luxury sedan segment.

The new Chairman W is expected to closely compete with other carmakers’ sedans such as Equus, Genesis and K7.

Ssangyong has been selling 10,000 vehicles per month this year, posting double-digit growth compared to last year.

The company saw its exports exceed 6,000 units per month for the first time since April 2007 before Ssangyong went into court receivership.

Orders for the Korando C, in particular, reached 2,627 abroad in April, accounting for nearly 40 percent of all overseas shipments. The figure is also up nearly 50 percent from the 1,693 sold abroad in March.

The vehicle’s popularity in overseas markets is evident on the assembly line. The grill and wheels of most Korando Cs come with the wing-like logo used for foreign markets instead of the domestic one that looks like a slanted number eight.

All vehicles have a newspaper-sized sheet attached to the hood that tells its specifications as well as the destination which ranges from Australia and Belgium to Russia and Poland. The SUVs for Australia have the driver’s seat on the right.

Company officials believe its revival depends on the growth in sales which can only be supported by new and attractive products.

The Korando C is a special vehicle for the automaker. It is, in general, extremely difficult for a company under court receivership to come up with a new product that costs hundreds of billions of won in research and development, marketing and sales.

It didn’t have a new vehicle model for more than five years, and its employees returned one third of their annual bonuses to develop the Korando C.

The new version of Ssangyong’s flagship SUV shows improvements in the design and achieves a solid fuel efficiency of 15 kilometers per liter for the diesel-powered, two-wheel-drive model.

To meet Europe’s environmental standards, Ssangyong adopted a unique design instead of a heavy internal frame. After the prolonged break, the firm hopes the Korando C will help reintroduce the brand into European markets.

A Ssangyong executive said, “We now have more confidence in making cars. We are now certain that consumers won’t regret buying our cars and will be fully satisfied.”

About a month after launching the SUV in February, Ssangyong unveiled the third generation New Chairman H at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show.

After a facelift, the classic model comes with a five-speed automatic transmission developed by Mercedes Benz, Ssangyong’s own engine pumps out 222 horsepower, 31 kilograms per meter of torque and numerous convenient features, including a button key.

The automaker is currently developing a facelift model of the Actyon Sports, a pickup truck, under the project name SUT1, while a brand new model is planned for 2013.

Last month, Ssangyong signed an agency agreement with a China’s leading car distributor in order to enter the market again.

The company plans to increase the number of dealerships to 150 in China by 2013 and increase exports of new Korando model to 30,000-50,000 cars by the target year.

A spokesman said that a goal is to become the No. 1 overseas SUV brand in China. Its export plan is a significant rise given its exports of 16,000 vehicles between 2005 and 2010.

By Kim Yon-se (