It’s an all too familiar story for pub quiz fans across the country. There you are, on course for a record points haul, when Dave the quizmaster announces that the next round will be 10 questions on SsangYong. Drat, damn and various expletives. For whilst you had a tip-off that Dave may bring out the ‘name five famous Belgians’ routine or ‘the history of Chesterfield’s crooked spire’, you have no prior knowledge of SsangYong.
So for the entire round, you sit there, giving Dave the eyeballs and watching as your fierce rivals – the Tragic Street Sweepers – coast to victory. All because they knew more about SsangYong than you.
But don’t worry – help is at hand. Thanks to PetrolBlog you shall no longer flounder when questions about SsangYong pop up on Ken Bruce’s Popmaster. Or when Alexander Armstrong and the other chap ask you to name a pointless fact about SsangYong.
Sit back and revel in PetrolBlog’s 60 things you never knew about SsangYong.
1. SsangYong can trace its origins back to 1954, making it 60-years-old this year. Altogether now, “Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you…”
2. SsangYong is the oldest and fourth largest automotive manufacturer in Korea.
3. The name means double dragon in Sino-Korean.
4. The Latin translation for SsangYong is ‘makers of slightly obscure looking off-road vehicles from the Far East’.
5. In the past, SsangYong has enjoyed associations with the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Daewoo and SAIC – the current owners of MG.
6. The brand first arrived in the UK in 1994, with the launch of the SsangYong Musso.
7. Musso means rhinoceros in Korean and this can be seen in the Musso’s tailgate badge. It was originally marketed as ‘a 4×4 guaranteed to give you the horn’. This may not be true.
8. In some markets, the SsangYong Musso was badged as a Mercedes-Benz.
9. In 1997, SsangYong was acquired by Daewoo, subsequently giving us the Daewoo Musso.
10. SsangYong was initially established as Ha Dong-Hwan Motor Workshop in 1954. And you thought SsangYong was a difficult name to remember. Let alone spell.
11. The company started out producing trucks, buses and special purpose vehicles, many for export.
12. in 1974, the company co-founded Shinjin Jeep, developing hard- and soft-top Jeeps.
13. These became a firm favourite of Far Eastern Barbie, who was quoted as saying how much she “enjoyed rolling in her Shinjin with her pal, Ken Masters”. Yes, that’s Ken from the Street Fighter series.
13. In 1977, the Ha Dong-Hwan Motor Workshop company made the sensible decision to rebrand as Donga Motor Co Ltd. But the name still didn’t roll off the tongue in the same way as, say, Hyundai or Kia.
14. In 1984, the company acquired Geohwa Co and with it, the name Korando, derived from ‘Korea Can do’. And you thought it was the name of an American detective.
15. In 1986, the SsangYong Motor Group acquired the company and all vehicles were given the SsangYong name.
16. In 1991, SsangYong formed a strategic alliance with Daimler-Benz, allowing the company to develop products using Mercedes-Benz technology.
17. The 1993 Musso was the first product to benefit from this relationship.
18. Three years later, in 1996, the Korando 2 arrived.
19. Princess Anne is said to be a big fan of the SsangYong Korando, and often contemplated selling her Reliant Scimitars in favour of one. However, that would have ruined another famous pub quiz question, so the Princess Royal was encouraged to steer clear of the Korando.
20. In 2001, now free of the shackles of Daewoo ownership, SsangYong launched the Rexton, still using Mercedes-Benz technology.
21. In 2004, SsangYong quite literally stopped the automotive sector in its tracks, with the launch of the Rodius, the company’s first seven-seater.
22. The Rodius is often mentioned when people start discussing the ugliest cars of all time. SsangYong was just pleased the Chrysler PT Cruiser existed, therefore ensuring the Rodius would never be named the ugliest car ever built.
23. Penned by Ken Greenley, the SsangYong Rodius was said to be inspired by a ‘luxury yacht’. Mr Greenley had clearly never visited a marina or seen a music video released by an American rapper.
24. In 2011, SsangYong was acquired by Mahindra Motor Company, India’s largest producer of utility vehicles.
25. We’ll level with you now, we’re beginning to struggle with the 60 things you never knew about SsangYong.
26. Oh hang on, in 2012, SsangYong launched the Korando Sports, “which brought a new level of refinement and car-like handling to the utility pick-up market”. That must be true, as it says it in this here press release.
27. Also in 2012, the Korando Sports won the PetrolBlog prize for the most comical digital clock in the world. Ever. See below.
28. In 2013, SsangYong launched the Turismo, a new version of the Rodius, much to the relief of small children who no longer had bad dreams about “that nasty car which looked like the back end of the Pinky Ponk”.
29. At the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, SsangYong unveiled the XLV concept car.
30. XLV stands for ‘eXciting smart Lifestyle Vehicle’. So now you know. Hang on, shouldn’t it be called the ESLV?
31. It was launched with the help of Eurodancers, a cheerleading team from Switzerland.
32. Having emerged from the really-rather-spacious Rodius, the girls were proclaimed as “the best looking Rodius drivers in the world”. Yup, that really happened.
33. The XLV will become known as the X100, which has the potential to be a convincing product for SsangYong. Not only does it look good, the concept also featured an innovative seating arrangement.
34. Good lord, we’re only on number 34…
35. Blimey, is that the time?
36. Have you ever been to a Harvester before?
37. Oh, hang on, SsangYong has recently launched 60th anniversary editions of its Korando and Rexton W models.
38. All SsangYong models are covered by a five-year, limitless mileage warranty.
39. SsangYong is an anagram of Nosy Gangs.
40. SsangYong is also an anagram of Sonny Gags.
41. Right, we’re in to the 40s now…
42. Cup of tea anyone?
43. Milk and sugar?
45. Going anywhere nice on holiday this year?
46. In his review of the SsangYong Korando, star of cooking and stuff on TV, James Martin, described the car as “rather good”, although was disappointed “when it was delivered splattered with mud and nearly empty of diesel”. Hashtag #firstworldproblems.
47. Warning, number 46 contained a link to the Daily Mail website.
48. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
49. Right, now you’ve gone and done it. You’re now lost in the sidebar of shame.
50. Yes, she has put on weight, hasn’t she?
51. And those poolside pictures of her sister in a bikini aren’t very flattering, are they?
52. Ooh, and what’s he done with his hair?
53. Goodness, how has that ridiculously rich celeb managed to pull a model half his age?
54. Blimey, how have they managed to combine such ‘SHOCKING’ and ‘HILARIOUS’ photos in one feature?
55. How was your tea, OK?
56. Right, so SsangYong…
57. According to Wikipedia, SsangYong produced a badge-engineered version of the Panther Kallista. That’s a new one on us. Only 78 were built.
58. In South Korea, you can purchase a SsangYong Chairman luxury car. We want one. Badly. It has the coolest name in the automotive world.
59. Wow, 59 facts. How did we get here so fast?
60. Happy Birthday, SsangYong. Here’s to the next six decades. But hey, no more Rodius nonsense, eh?
Thanks to Lawson Clarke for inspiring this list of 60 things, some of which weren’t made up by PetrolBlog.
All images © SsangYong / Lawson Clarke, except digital clock and Eurodancers © PetrolBlog.