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SsangYong Motor Company (Hangul: 쌍용자동차; Hanja: 雙龍自動車) is the fourth largest South Korean automobile manufacturer. 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. The name SsangYong means twin dragons. In 1991 it started a technology partnership with Daimler-Benz (formerly DaimlerChrysler). Later, it acquired United Kingdom-based specialty car maker Panther Westwinds.
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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 (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) 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.
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