FRANKFURT -- South Korean automaker SsangYong will sell cars in Germany again, two years after it withdrew from Europe's biggest market.
SsangYong said it has established a new German base of operations in Kerpen near Cologne and will now work with Alcadis, Europe's Belgium-based SsangYong importer, to offer four models to German customers.
Alcadis, one of Europe's largest importers, sold 41,000 cars in the region in 2009.
The Korean carmaker had 110 dealers at one time in Germany and worked together with the Dutch importer Kroymans Corp. before leaving the market.
The new head of SsangYong Germany is the veteran manager Ulrich Mehling, who has 20 years of experience in the auto industry working for companies including General Motors Co., Saab and Alfa Romeo.
''Our primary goal will be to quickly establish a network of dealers,'' Mehling said in a statement. "At the moment we are in negotiations with a large number of existing car distributors.''
SsangYong sought bankruptcy protection two years ago after higher fuel prices and the global recession squeezed sales of its mainstay SUVs.
Late last year, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., India's largest SUV maker, said it will pay 427.1 billion won ($378 million) for a 70 percent controlling stake in SsangYong.
Mahindra expects to complete the acquisition by March, the company said at the time. Ssangyong was formerly controlled by SAIC Motor Corp., China's largest automaker.
150 dealers in Germany
SsangYong aims to have 150 dealers in Germany by 2012 and believes it can profit from the international market presence of its partner Alcadis.
SsangYong will initially offer four models in Germany -- the Rexton large SUV, Rodius large minivan, the Actyon crossover and Korando small SUV, which the company hopes will be a big success in the growing small SUV segment.
Mahindra plans to introduce as many as three new SsangYong models in four years to help revive sales. SsangYong is expected to unveil a new model at this year's Frankfurt auto show