Ssangyong Korando SPR 2011 Review

October 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Things haven’t always gone to plan for the Ssangyong Motor Company. Even with a name that means double dragons in Korean, Ssangyong has struggled to generate any real firepower in the motoring world. Rioting, receivership and changing ownership have all held back Korea’s fourth largest carmaker, but now in the hands of Indian firm Mahindra things are on the up. Ssangyong appears more determined than ever to advance its status from a fringe player into a serious brand capable of stealing sales off more established Korean and Japanese competitors. It’s working too with Ssangyong reporting a 53% increase in global sales for the first half of 2011. An important instrument in this turn around has been the 2011 Korando small SUV, which has become a fixture on NZ streets. Car and SUV spent a week with the latest Korando to see exactly what this comeback kid is made of.

Ssangyong styling has at times been accused of being erratic with awkward proportions but the new Korando opts for a more conservative approach. This doesn’t mean its boring and being penned by car design legend Giorgetto Giugiaro there’s plenty to draw the eye. The Korando face is particularly purposeful with its low-placed mesh grille and large, wrap around headlights. There’s a character-lined bonnet and a raked back windscreen, which gives the Korando a sporty stance. Pushed out wheel arches and hardened black plastic cladding add familiar crossover touches along the flanks and at the rear, a subtle hatch spoiler and chrome trim feature. Continue reading “Ssangyong Korando SPR 2011 Review” »

SsangYong gains foothold in NZ market with sales increase

August 9th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

SsangYong Motor Company has increased its global sales by 53% for the first half of 2011 compared with the same period last year. The Korean carmaker sold a total of 55,873 vehicles in the period and is looking to build on the positive result.

SsangYong had its biggest manufacturing quarter in the second quarter of 2011, a growth of 45% over the corresponding period in 2010 and the highest quarterly sales volume achieved since the third quarter of 2007.  This coincides with SsangYong NZ’s biggest month ever for sales in June 2011 with nearly 70 vehicles sold nationwide.

SsangYong NZ General Manager Deon Cooper says this is a great sign for the SsangYong Brand globally.  “It demonstrates that SsangYong is moving ahead successfully under its new ownership and it means SsangYong NZ can get on with our plan of providing quality and affordable SUV’s and Utes to New Zealanders.”  Continue reading “SsangYong gains foothold in NZ market with sales increase” »

Ssangyong unveils new greener engines for NZ vehicles

March 15th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

SsangYong has unveiled a new environmentally friendly series of engines for New Zealand with greater fuel efficiency and a significant reduction in CO2 emissions, including a new hybrid model.

General Manager of SsangYong NZ Deon Cooper says SsangYong is gearing up for the future of the motoring industry.  “The SsangYong engine division in Korea has recognised the need and is focussed on the development of fuel efficient engines. “

The new eco engines have been designed for either transverse (front wheel drive unibody) or longitudinal (rear wheel drive) applications.

“We already have one of these eco diesel engines in the new Korando which uses only 5.5 litres per 100km.  With the significant rise in the price of petrol in New Zealand recently, this option is becoming particularly attractive for motorists.”

The three new SsangYong diesel engines meet Euro 5 and Euro 6 emission standards and can be can be used in SUV’s and premium passenger cars, as well as hybrid models.

The 2.0 litre Active Diesel engine has been developed to increase torque at low–mid engine speeds rather than focussing exclusively on high power. Torque has been improved by 20% while a wide, flat torque curve ensures quick responses in all conditions. Continue reading “Ssangyong unveils new greener engines for NZ vehicles” »

Ssangyong bringing Korando SUV to NZ market

January 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Great Lake Motor Distributors (GLMD), distributors of Ssangyong motor vehicles in New Zealand has just announced the upcoming launch of the ground breaking new model Korando onto the New Zealand market from February this year.

Apparently the Korando will be the most powerful SUV sold in NZ under $40,000 and will come standard with a new Euro 5 compliant diesel engine with 129Kw of power and 360 Nm of torque.

All models will come with the expected level of safety equipment and a 2000kg (braked) tow capacity. GLMD confirm that recommended retail prices will start from $34,990 + ORC for the Korando 4×2 6 speed manual, Korando 4×2 6 speed automatic will be $38,990 + ORC.

Two 4×4 models will be introduced, the Korando Sport 6 speed automatic will be $42,990 + ORC and the top-spec Korando SPR (short for SUPER) 6 speed automatic will complete the line up at $47,990 + ORC.

Mr Rick Cooper chairman of GLMD stated that it’s very exciting to be able to launch a high quality model like the Korando diesel with game changing specifications, performance and quality into the volume sub $40,000 price bracket.

The 4×2 SUV market segment is now one of the fastest growing market segments in Australia and New Zealand, with many private and company buyers looking for affordable lifestyle vehicles to replace previously popular larger petrol vehicles.

Mr Cooper said that it will very difficult for buyers and competitors to ignore the stylish new Korando designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Ital design.

The Korando will expand the Ssangyong range available in New Zealand, which currently includes Rexton, Kyron, Stavic and Actyon Sports.

A Subaru WRX STI Version 8 Type-RA Spec C by any other name would drive as sweet

July 13th, 2007 by Darren Cottingham

Names of cars can achieve mythical status, and this is why teams of branding people spend millions of dollars ensuring that names like the Nissan Cedric happen as infrequently as possible. But, they do slip through, either as a result of a poor translation or a looming home-time deadline on a Friday afternoon.

Car names evoke emotions, and emotions invoke opening your wallet. So, before you’re suckered in, check out these tricks:

Car names as animals and birds

There will never be a Ford Wombat. No, it must be deadly, like the Shelby Cobra or Dodge Viper; stealthy but swift, like the Ford Puma; elegant and graceful like the Triumph Stag; efficient and ruthless killers like the Ford Falcon or Plymouth Barracuda; or it can be a prey animal as long as it’s in a noble, workmanlike, industrious way, like the Hyundai Pony, Dodge Ram, and Volkswagen Beetle.

Car names as places

Giving a car a desirable place name gives it added credibility, even if the car is bad (that means you, Hyundai Santa Fe and Pontiac/Opel Le Mans). The Americans love naming their cars after places¦usually their own places seeing as the vast majority of them only know about other countries if they’re at war with them. So, the Shelby Daytona Coupe, Pontiac Bonneville, Dodge Dakota and Chevrolet Tahoe all fit the bill.

Car names as mythical creatures

TVR do a good line in dredging up names from Greek mythology — Cerbera and Chimera, for example — but other manufacturers have also dabbled, such as the Renault Clio (Muse of History) and the various incarnations of the Phaeton (son of Helios and the Sun). They’re not making any more mythology, though, so the number of names is limited.

People’s names on cars

This one has a mixed track record. At one end we have the Ferraris (Enzo and Dino), and at the other we have the aforementioned Cedric and the Ford Edsel. Nissan kept the trend alive with the Silvia, and the Serena. It’s probably best to steer clear of names, especially ones like Rupert and Hitler.

Names in other languages

As most of the major car manufacturers are from non-English-speaking countries it’s hardly surprising that many names derive from other languages such as Lupo (wolf), Viva (alive), Astra (stars) and Ignis (fire).

Numbers, series and classes

Probably the safest, and the ultimate cop out, is to use a series of numbers or classes. Mercedes has an enormous range of classes — A-class, B-class, C-class, CLK-class, CLS-class, E-class, GL-class, M-class, R-class, S-class, SL-class and SLK-class, not to mention the AMG-tuned range. BMW has its 1-series, 3-series, 5-series, 6-series, 7-series, M-series, X-series and Z-series, and then there’s the crossover with the Z4M¦confusing! Peugeot has a monopoly on numbers with a zero in the middle, after objecting to Porsche’s use of 901-909 (hence the birth of the 911). But, they did not challenge Ferrari over their 208GT4 and 308GT4, and they would most likely leave 007 alone.

There are also overused letters — GT, RS, R, GTR, L, LX, T, etc. Adding a letter on the end often means you get one or two extra features, but it now seems more sporty or luxurious in your mind.

Names that are ridiculously long

With the plethora of initials and names, we’re presented with names that are so long that by the time you’ve finished reciting them you’ve forgotten how you started. Peugeot’s 206 GTI 180 has nine syllables without the manufacturer’s name, and don’t even go there with Subaru and Mitsubishi’s rally weapons, or anything tuned by a third party like Nismo, Alpina, Rinnspeed, Techart or Brabus.

Invented names

Jackaroo, Korando, Ceed, Impreza, Exige, Hiace, Legnum. Would an infinite number of monkeys on typewriters come up with some of these? Probably not.

Names that should never have been

A Hummer is English slang for flatulence, Pajero is often used in Mexico to mean ‘one who pleasures himself’, and Toyota’s Enima is far too close to enema. But, the popular urban legend around Chevy’s Nova meaning ‘does not go’ in Spanish is not true.

Real words

Discovery, Polo, Legacy, Commodore, Accord, Laser. Well, let’s just thumb through a dictionary until something pops up. There’s always the problem of trademark infringement or accidentally picking a name that has a non-competing undesirable product though, so prep those intellectual property lawyers!

So, you can always modify a real word slightly: Integra, Multipla, Agila, Previa, Octavia. Shove an a on the end of a word, and you’re on your way.

Are all the cool names used?,

Well, if you want to get the .com of your new car name, you’d better be prepared to make up something wacky. The more history we have, the less opportunity there is for cool new names, but the more opportunity there is for resurrecting evocative older names. With global markets naming is more complex than ever, so suddenly those numbers and codes look mighty attractive.

Words Darren Cottingham

Real words

Discovery, Polo, Legacy, Commodore, Accord, Accord, Laser. Well, let’s just thumb through a dictionary until something pops up. There’s always the problem of trademark infringement or accidentally picking a name that has a non-competing undesirable product though, so prep those intellectual property lawyers!

So, you can always modify a real word slightly: Integra, Multipla, Agila, Previa, Octavia. Shove an a on the end of a word, and you’re on your way.

Are all the cool names used?

Well, if you want to get the .com of your new car name, you’d better be prepared to make up something wacky. The more history we have, the less opportunity there is for cool new names, but the more opportunity there is for resurrecting evocative older names. With global markets naming is more complex than ever, so suddenly those numbers and codes look mighty attractive.

Words Darren Cottingham,