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Debt-Ridden SsangYong Saved by Edison Motors-Led Consortium

Founded in March 1954 as the Ha Dong-hwan Motor Workshop, the peeps at SsangYong started building jeeps, trucks, and buses in the 1960s. Renamed SsangYong in 1988, the South Korean automaker had a rocky ownership history that included Daewoo and Chinese automaker SAIC.
2021 SsangYong Musso 7 photos
2021 SsangYong Musso2021 SsangYong Musso2021 SsangYong Musso2021 SsangYong Musso2021 SsangYong Musso2021 SsangYong Musso
A glimmer of hope came in 1991 when SsangYong entered a partnership with Daimler AG for developing a sport utility vehicle with Mercedes-Benz hardware and software. The Musso couldn’t have arrived at a better time because pretty much everyone and their dog wanted an SUV back then.

Joined at the hip to General Motors, the South Koreans at Daewoo purchased the company in 1997 only to run into serious financial woes. SAIC entered the scene in 2004 with a 51-percent stake, and two years later, a massive strike cost SsangYong a simply ludicrous amount of money.

The company entered receivership in January 2009, which is why Mahinda & Mahindra swooped in with a takeover in February 2021. The Indian automaker paid $463.6 million for SsangYong, which is approximately $572.8 million after we adjust for inflation. Despite some well-needed cash that went into brand-new products, the South Koreans just could make things work. Because Mahindra had had enough, SsangYong was ultimately forced to file for receivership and bankruptcy back in December 2020.

Fast forward to October 2021, and that’s when South Korean business and automotive media reported that an electric bus and truck maker by the name of Edison Motors would purchase the debt-ridden SsangYong. Wholly unsurprising, the rumors turned out to be true. A consortium of investors led by Edison Motors has finally announced a $255 million takeover, which is a small price to pay for such a formidable back catalog and IP repository.

“SsangYong plans to do its best to achieve business normalization as soon as possible by submitting a rehabilitation plan, consenting to the assembly of stakeholders, and obtaining approval from the court as this contract has been concluded through a difficult process,” reads a statement from the Pyeongtaek-based automaker. As to what the future actually holds for SsangYong, here’s hope Edison will succeed in turning this ship around.

Editor's note: 2021 SsangYong Musso pictured in the gallery.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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