Ssangyong Motor To Increase Auto Output 50 Percent

South Korea automaker wants to veer away from its image as a maker of sports utility vehicles.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) β€” South Korea's Ssangyong Motor Co. plans to expand production capacity by 50 percent in the next three years to enhance its presence in the passenger car market, Dow Jones Newswires reported Friday.
Ssangyong will build new assembly and paint plants by the end of 2010 to increase its annual capacity to 330,000 vehicles from the current 220,000, the report said, citing an unnamed company spokesman.
The company wants to produce more passenger cars to get away from its image as a maker of sports utility vehicles, the spokesman said.
Ssangyong Motor β€” 51.33 percent-owned by Shanghai Automotive Co. β€” mainly manufactures sport utility vehicles, such as the Kyron, Actyon and Rexton models. It produces one passenger car model, the large, luxury Chairman sedan.
The company will spend 8 percent of its annual revenue on the expansion plan every year through to 2010, the spokesman said.
Ssangyong, the country's fourth-largest carmaker by sales, posted a net loss of 196 billion won (US$210.2 million; euro151.6 million) on sales of 2.95 trillion won (US$3.16 billion; euro2.81 billion) in 2006.
The new plants will be operational from 2011, the spokesman said.
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