A giant SsangYong Chairman CM seen on the Wufang Tianya Automobile Parts City in east Beijing. The Korean limousine seemed to be in perfect shape and looked completely original, even the cheap plastic wheel covers are period correct.
The SsangYong Chairman CM was the very first generation Chairman, it was made from 1997 until 2004. The Chairman CM was based on the platform of the Mercedes-Benz W124 E-Class that was made from 1985 until 1996, design was inspired by the W140 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Engines were all Mercedes too: 2.3 liter four-cylinder with 148hp, 2.8 liter six-in-line with 194hp, and a 3.2 liter six-in-line with 217hp.
The interior looked very well maintained as well, although the leather seemed a bit worn out, but that is an easy fix in China. The SsangYong Chairman CM was never officially exported to the Chinese car market but some arrived via the gray market and other misty channels. The current SsangYong Chairman CW700L is officially on sale in China, but I haven’t seen a single car on the road yet.
A name that somehow has to appeal to the Chinese, or not…