South Korean automaker SsangYong is looking for a potential buyer after India’s Mahindra and Mahindra said it could give up its majority stake in the struggling company. In 2010 Mahindra rescued SsangYong from bankruptcy and currently holds a 74.65% share of the company.
According to South Korean media, citing unnamed sources, China’s auto giants Geely and BYD might be interested in SsangYong however a Geely representative said it has no plans to participate in any bidding for SsangYong while BYD declined to comment.
An executive at Mahindra said last week that the Indian company was willing to let go of its ownership stake in SsangYong which is valued at 332 billion won ($274.59 million). SsangYong is burdened with high debt and reported its 13th consecutive quarterly operating loss in January-March period. It suffered from poor sales even before the spread of COVID-19 due to tough competition in the SUV market.
A Ssangyong Tivoli SUV that was spotted testing multiple times during the last couple of years
In Pakistan, Dewan having acquired Brownfield investment status was in process of introducing a range of vehicles including the Ssangyong Tivoli. In March 2018, Ssangong management visited Pakistan to finalize plans with Dewan and they also visited their assembly plant in Sujawal, Sindh. However Dewan reportedly stopped working on the Ssangyong project due to volatile economic situation of the country. Earlier Renault had also announced to roll back its investment whereas later Ghandhara indicated to shelve the Datsun project due to economic uncertainties.
However Renault, Datsun and Ssangyong were all battling with financial woes and it’s now quite easy to understand that the cap on these projects was not just due to the economic situation of the country but rather their own financial miseries.