SSANGYONG, the almost forgotten South Korean brand, now under Indian ownership, is continuing to rebuild sales in Britain, says its UK managing director.

Paul Williams said he expects to see a 50 per cent increase sales this year to 1,500 vehicles.

“That doesn't sound like a big number, but we have come from a very low starting point and now we have new products coming through to follow on from the Korando and the pickup last year,” he said.

Getting its European debut at Geneva is the all-new Rodius, a much criticised model in the past for its styling and handling, although it's people-carrying credentials gave it some unique appeal.

The all-new model, said Mr Williams, has all new styling along with multi link rear suspension for the first time aimed at addressing noise, vibration and dynamic issues. There is also a new two-litre Euro 5 compliant petrol engine.

Mr Williams said: “There will be more new products coming and we are looking for steady growth. Our dealer network is growing, we have 51 now in the UK and the plan is to have 60 in place by the end of the year.”

He added that the brand is looking at dealer representation in major cities. “Our heartland is in the north and the Midlands where customers are looking for practical vehicles and good towing capacity.”