SsangYong Motor Company is the fourth largest South Korean automobile manufacturer. The name SsangYong means double dragons.
SsangYong was acquired by India's Mahindra & Mahindra Limited in February 2011, after being named the preferred bidder in 2010 to acquire the bankruptcy-protected company. Mahindra's acquisition was approved by South Korea's Free Trade Commission.
It was founded as Hadonghwan Motor Company in 1954 and started by building Jeeps for the US Army. Beginning in 1976, Hadonghwan produced a variety of special purpose vehicles. After changing its name to Dong-A Motor in 1977, it was taken over by Ssangyong Business Group in 1988 and changed its name to SsangYong Motor.
In 1997 Daewoo Motors bought a controlling stake from the Ssangyong Group, only to sell it off again in 2000, because the conglomerate ran into deep financial troubles. In late 2004, the Chinese automobile manufacturer SAIC took a 51% stake of SsangYong Motor Company.
In January 2009, after recording a $75.42 million loss, the company was put into receivership. This was due to the global economic crisis and shrinking demand.
As of the 08/09 English football season, SsangYong are the main sponsor of former British Gas Business (Southern) Premier League and current Blue Square North League club, Gloucester City A.F.C. They recently signed a new 1 year deal, ensuring their sponsorship until the 10/11 English football season.
On August 14, 2009, worker strikes finished at the SsangYong factory and production commenced again after 77 days of riots.