It seems that Korean automaker Ssangyong will continue producing and selling cars for the foreseeable future. After struggling to find a new buyer, the automaker has reportedly been purchased by EV startup Edison Motors.
Approved by a Korean court last Monday, Ssangyong was purchased for a whopping KRW 304.8 billion (or around PHP 13.1 billion). Part of the money used in purchasing Ssangyong will go to repaying some of the automaker’s debts. Currently, Edison Motors said that it has paid 10% of the acquisition money while the remaining 90% has been secured.
Aside from buying Ssangyong, Edison Motors has also agreed to lend the ailing company KRW 50 million (around PHP 2.148 million) in operating capital. This will allow Ssangyong to keep its lights on amid the ongoing pandemic.
But why did Edison Motors decide to acquire Ssangyong? Around last year, Ssangyong released three EV concepts in order to turn things around. This could have attracted Edison Motors, resulting in Ssangyong now under the EV startup’s wing.
It has not been an easy road for Ssangyong in the past couple of years. Back in late 2020, the company filed for bankruptcy after then-parent company Mahindra did not give the troubled automaker fresh equity. With mounting debts across multiple banks, Ssangyong struggled to find a new buyer. It even resulted in its CEO resigning from the company, citing failure in finding Ssangyong a new investor.
With Ssangyong now under new ownership, Edison Motors plans to transform the brand into an EV-focused automaker over the next five years, with 10 new EVs set to be launched this year. Then by 2025 and 2030, they’re looking at having 20 and 30 EV models, respectively.
Will the troubled automaker finally find solid ground as an EV company? We’ll find out in the coming years.