Steane Klose | Feb 21, 2008

SsangYong has announced a major overhaul in Australia and New Zealand with a new company formed to handle the distribution of the Korean marque.

The new company, SsangYong Motor Australasia, is an alliance between the existing distributor Russell Burling and Western Australian automotive company, The Barbagallo Group.

The Barbagallo Group has been the WA distributor for SsangYong for the past four-years as well as selling a wide range of automotive brands for more than 35 years.

SsangYong says the new organisation will be better equipped to handle the distribution of an expanded range of eco-friendly and safety-conscious diesel powered SsangYong vehicles.


The new focus will be on safety, eco friendly diesel power and value for money. SsangYong will be the only company in the Australian market pursuing an all Euro IV spec turbo diesel power strategy.

According to, the new operation gives SsangYong a stronger and more focussed approach to the Australian market.

"Our new alliance with The Barbagallo Group gives the company a truly national approach as well as tremendous knowledge and expertise in the retail sector. It will give SsangYong the resources to build the brand across the country. We believe we can also easily capture around 30 percent of the diesel MPV market as buyers seek more economical ways of safely and efficiently transporting their families," said Russell Burling, Managing Director of SsangYong Motor Australasia

SsangYong has also introduced an all new high technology Australian built and developed six-speed automatic transmission to the Sports Dual Cab.

It has also introduced a new premium SPR designation featuring upgraded equipment levels including leather heated and electrically adjustable front seats, automatic lights and rain sensing wipers as well as rear parking sensors and T-tronic automatic transmission.


For 2008 all SsangYong SUV models will come with ESP, front and side SRS airbags, Anti Rollover Protection (ARP), Brake-force Assist System(BAS) and Hill Descent control (HDC) as standard adding to the already impressive equipment levels . In addition SsangYong's Stavic MPV will have ESP as standard in 2008.

SsangYong is undergoing a major global expansion with parent company Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) targeting a major model expansion with significantly increased focus on R&D and technology both in SsangYong's traditional SUV and people mover niche as well as in passenger cars.

The company has reinforced its philosophy of pursuing European levels of technology, safety and performance rather than low cost entry-level options.

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