TCCCI is working to bring in a new brand
2023 has to be one of the craziest years in the Philippine automobile market. There have been many issues, many controversies, as well as a “rigodon” of both brands and people moving around like we’ve never seen before.
One company that has been affected by this is The Covenant Car Company (TCCCI).
They’ve already been weathering some big changes at General Motors (GM). The factory that produced the Trailblazer PPV and Colorado pick-up closed, forcing them to shift to a series of crossovers that are having difficulty competing against the wave of affordable Chinese-made crossovers.
Said wave was also started by TCCCI when they became the MG importer and distributor in 2018; that’s why you’ll see a lot of MG ZS units on the road. Despite the success they had with MG, the business didn’t hit the 5-year mark as MG's parent company SAIC came into the Philippines as a subsidiary.
So what is TCCCI to do? The answer is simple: Look for a new brand. And now it seems they’ve found SsangYong… or KG Mobility.
Atty. Albert Arcilla - TCCCI president and CEO
There have been rumors for a while now that there will be a new company handling the new SsangYong, but initially insiders pointed towards Inchcape. That didn’t turn out to be the case, as we can almost confirm that TCCCI will be the SsangYong in the Philippines, or KG Mobility Philippines.
This isn’t based on insider talk anymore, as TCCCI has been getting approvals for vehicles with displacements and weights that match some (if not all) of KG Mobility’s models. It is extremely unlikely that the vehicles with a 1497cc gasoline, 1597cc gasoline, and 2157cc diesel all filed by one importer can be any other brand but SsangYong… or KG Mobility.
Why the name change? Well, SsangYong has had a rather troubled few years after being in limbo through bankruptcy. Their previous parent company (Mahindra) decided to cut their losses and sell the brand, and now it’s with a new company (organized in a complex chaebol system) called KG Group. When they completed the acquisition of SsangYong, they chose to rebrand the company as KG Mobility.
So TCCCI will 99.9% (we can't say 100%) be the importer for the brand, but what does it have to offer?
If you’re familiar with SsangYong’s last importer, then some of the models will likely be there too. The company is still producing models such as the Tivoli, the Korando, the Rexton, and the Musso. Judging by the engine displacements and weights we saw, the Korando 1.6L, Rexton 2.2L, and Musso 2.2L could be in the line-up. The Tivoli 1.6L or 1.5L may be there, but one model that is surely not going to be offered is the Rodius; they stopped production of it in 2019.
But perhaps this is the one we’re excited about: there's a good possibility they will launch the Torres SUV. It’s the one in the main image above, and we can confirm it because there are two vehicles in the list with a 1497cc engine with a gross weight of 2080 kg and 2170 kg. Those specifics are a match for the Torres with the 1.5L gasoline turbo engine with 2WD being the lighter model and the 4WD being the heavier.
So, SsangYong is (sort of) coming back. Will they have better (and longer) fortunes with TCCCI?