A very dusty Dadi Musso SUV, Spotted in China by serial spotted Navigator 84, thank you for the photos! The Dadi Musso was manufactured in China from 2001 until 2006 by a company called Chengdu Xin Dadi Auto, based in the great city of Chengdu in Sichuan Province.
The ‘double D’ Dadi logo.
The company sold its cars under the Dadi brand name. In 2001 they reached an agreement with Ssangyong Motors of South Korea to CKD-ensemble the Ssangyong Musso in China.
It didn’t go very well. Assembly proved more difficult than expected and the Dadi Musso did not get government approval for nation-wide sales, which meant that Dadi could only sell them in their home province.
Things changed for the better in 2004 when Dadi imported a complete production line from South Korea, and started manufacturing the entire car in China. This ‘new’ Dadi Musso did get nationwide approval.
They launched two models: the base RX6470Y and the more luxurious RX6471Y. There were also two variants for the police: the RX5032XQC and the RX5031XQC.
The Dadi Musso was available with two engines: a 2.3 liter four with 147 hp and 220 Nm, and a 3.2 liter liter six-in-line with 218 hp and 310 Nm. Both of these engines were developed by Mercedes-Benz (M111 and M104), and licensed to SsangYong under a technology partnership signed in 1991.
In China the only available gearbox was a 4-speed automatic, sending power to all four wheels.
The Musso also got a proper Chinese name: Mosho (魔兽), which means ‘Warcraft’, a much more aggressive name than Musso, which means ‘water buffalo’ in Korean. Fuzzily, Moshou is also the Chinese name of the World of Warcraft online game.
Tha Dadi brand name.
The Musso was sold as a seven-seat off-road capable SUV. It came loaded with goodies, even in the base version, such as leather seats and an early infotainment system that could play CD’s and DVD’s.
So far so good, but the problem was that the Musso was expensive, far more expensive than the Chinese competition. Price for the 2.3 started at 272,200 yuan and the 3.2 at a massive 338,000 yuan. Other Chinese car makers sold their SUVs in the 100-150,000 yuan range, and for that they were fully loaded too, although they didn’t have a Mercedes engine.
The brand new Dadi Musso at the 2004 Beijing Auto Show.
Musso 3200 badge on the left, Dadi logo in the middle, Dadi badge on the right. There are no SsangYong badges on the outside, but…
… there is one on the steering wheel. Note the screen low in the center stack. This was a China-only addition, in place of a storage compartment.
The DVD player topped by a aircon controls, with a slider!
Dadi factory photo.
Dadi factory photo showing the Mercedes-Benz sticker on the engine.
Sadly, due to its high price and limited dealer network the Dadi Musso never became a great success and they are a very rare sight on the road today.
Dadi was a busy company. They also made a series of self-designed SUVs, other CKD deals with SsangYong, Kia, and Daihatsu, and they contract-manufactured the first-generation of the Geely Englon SX7 and GLeagle RX7. More on these vehicles later stories. In 2006 the company was bought by Zotye Auto, and that ended production of the Musso.
Police version, on rather sexy steel wheels.