SYUK Cars, the importers of SsangYong vehicles into the UK, has received significant backing from Mitsui & Co Ltd (Mitsui) as part of its ambitious plans to grow sales of the brand.

Mitsui, a global business enabler with interests ranging from transport, steel production and telecommunications to plastics and chemical manufacture, has taken a 20% stake in SYUK Cars.

The additional funding will help support the company’s plans to double sales within the next 18 months and hasten its dealer expansion programme.

"Last year we sold 950 cars from 45 dealers but over the next 18 months we expect to be selling over 3,000 vehicles from 75 dealers," commented Bob Barris, managing director, SYUK Cars Ltd. "The launch of our new larger-than-life Rodius MPV is the first step in our product expansion plan and with further exciting new products in the pipeline we are confident, as are Mitsui, that we will meet those targets."

SYUK Ltd became the official importer of SsangYong cars in 2003. SYUK itself is part of a motoring-led consortium that includes Nissan Ireland, Chevrolet Ireland, SsangYong Ireland and The Windsor Motor Group, Ireland’s largest retail group. The consortium last year turned over in excess of €600m and employs 500 people.

Mitsui, which was established in 1947, has a turnover of €21 billion and a presence in 79 countries through its 160 overseas offices and trading subsidiaries.

The SsangYong brand is controlled by China’s largest car maker, Shanghai Automotive Industries Corporation (SAIC), with global ambitions to develop the range of SsangYong vehicles.

Published : 23/04/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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