Ssangyong invites auto expert to take the wheel

Ssangyong UK executive chairman Gerard O’Toole has appointed Ken Forbes as the company’s new managing director. Forbes joins from publisher EMAP Automotive, where he was the managing director.

Forbes has a strong background in the UK automotive industry, having joined the Ford Motor Company as a graduate trainee before spending a number of years in management there.

On leaving Ford, Forbes spent 13 years with Citroën including five as sales director. He left in 2001, as Citroën recorded all-time sales records for cars and vans, to take the position at EMAP Automotive.

Ssangyong has established a nationwide dealership in the UK over the past two years, but the company is now poised for further growth with the introduction of three models in addition to the Rodius range and the Rexton range, which includes a 4×4 and a 4×4 Sports Pick-Up. One of Forbes’s jobs will be to oversee the doubling of Ssangyong’s network, which currently stands at 53 dealerships.

For the past three years, Ssangyong has sponsored the annual horse trials in Chatsworth, using the connection with the competition to boost its image and sales operations in Europe.

Shanghai Automotive acquired Ssangyong in October last year. The acquisition of South Korea’s fourth-largest car maker made Shanghai Motor the first Chinese company to own a major concern in the world’s fifth-largest car market.

The contract for a 48.9 per cent stake in Ssangyong cost $500m (£290m).

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here