China – MG to rebadge the Ssangyong Korando for the Chinese market?
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Here are a couple of close-up images believed to be of the Ssangyong Korando facelift, but is claimed to be the version of the SUV designed by Chinese car maker ‘MG’ for a launch later this year.
Our readers would know that the Korando was identified for India, but subsequently was put on the backburner to concentrate all energies on making the first Ssangyong launch, the Rexton, a hit.
The Korando was the launch that promised to rescue Ssangyong from the financial rut it got into under its erstwhile owners SAIC, who control MG. Mahindra bought the company in early 2011, and the Korando has been the star performer for the Korean brand, shining in the domestic and export markets.
As its been three years since the product roll-out, Ssangyong has to think about a facelift to keep it going for another three years, before an all-new model, based of the XIV/SIV/LIV concepts is ready for production.
Ssangyong maybe planning a facelift, but before its emergence, the MG version could see light of day. The same kind of prototype, wearing similar badges, was caught testing in Northern Europe a few weeks back, and here it is, donning the exact same badges and identity cards, albeit sporting milder camouflage, up to something fishy in China.
The Chinese website AutoHome which is carrying these images claims that this is Chinese company ‘MG’ rebadging the vehicle. The ‘SMTC’ badge on the door connotes ‘SAIC Motor Technical Center’ while the octagon on the grille matches with the company emblem.
It is believed that MG has cloned at least one Ssangyong product in the past, while with the Korando, the deal may work through legal licensing. Either that or MG has invented an advanced photocopier that can reproduce cars with high precision!