Currently reading: Report: Korean EV firm buys Ssangyong for £187 million
Korean media reports Edison Motors' takeover of struggling Ssangyong has been approved by court

Troubled Korean SUV manufacturer Ssangyong has reportedly been acquired by youthful EV company Edison Motors for the equivalent of just £187 million. 

The widely reported acquisition comes after a long period of financial trouble for Ssangyong. Majority shareholder Mahindra & Mahindra had been seeking to sell its 75% stake since June 2020, having cancelled all further investment two months prior to that.

Details of Edison's interest went public in October last year, when it was primed – as part of a consortium – to take control of Ssangyong for 280bn won (£170m).

The acquisition has now been approved by Korea's bankruptcy court, according to the Korean Economic Daily newspaper (KED), and is now subject to Edison's payment of an outstanding £169m and agreement from more than two-thirds of Ssangyong's creditors.

The KED reports that the final sum will give Edison's consortium a 95% stake in Ssangyong.

Ssangyong has yet to publicly acknowledge the reports, and no UK spokesman was immediately available for comment. 

Edison will reportedly outline its transformation plan for Ssangyong by 1 March.

Indian manufacturing giant Mahindra & Mahindra saved Ssangyong from bankruptcy in 2011, but slow global sales have limited the return on its investment.

In December 2020, Ssangyong filed for bankruptcy, reportedly owing some 315bn won (£194m) to its creditors, and was ordered to restructure itself by a bankruptcy court.

The acquisition will give seven-year-old Korean company Edison a market presence worldwide, courtesy of Ssangyong's affordably priced SUV line-up.

Edison currently produces only commercial EVs but has plans to target Tesla in the passenger EV market with a radically designed and high-powered electric saloon known as the Smart S and a similarly conceived SUV called the Smart X. 

Despite its financial troubles and declining sales in recent years, Ssangyong has been clear about its future product strategy. An electric version of the Korando crossover is due to arrive on sale imminently, followed by a larger and more ruggedly styled SUV called the J100, which will serve as a rival to the forthcoming Dacia Bigster.

Ssangyong is the fourth-largest car manufacturer in Korea, after Kia, Hyundai and General Motors Korea.

Edison CEO Kang Young-kwon told The Korea Herald that, if successful, his company will invest between 800bn and one trillion won in Ssangyong's revival, with a view to turning it into a viable rival to GM, Tesla and Volkswagen.

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sabre 11 January 2022

My criterion of EV manufacturer's success may be predicted by its name. Tesla was named after a genius of the electricity sience. It was original and proved successful. Then came followers naming the companies after other electricity geniuses: Faraday Future, Nikola (Tesla's first name), and now Edison. The first two success is doubtful and the third may not succeed. My prediction and doubt stem from the fact that these companies had no imagination or fresh thinking to find an original, full of imagination name. They may continue trying to follow Tesla, never innovating a design. 

FastRenaultFan 22 October 2021
I wish Edison Motors and Ssangyong all the best in the future. I think Ssangyong have a great range if cars now it's a pity they are not more popular. If people can like the current Hyundais and Kias then why not Ssangyong. Ssangyong are around as long if not longer than the other two makes. They deserve todo well.
ianp55 22 October 2021

Pleased to hear that Ssongyong has survived as it moves with it's fourth owner in 25 years,I thought that Mahindra did a good job in their 12 years of ownership of the company,improving the range of vehicles  that are keenly priced and of excellent quality. I hope that the new owner Edison Motors continues to support and nurture Ssangyong and the company enjoys the success that it deserves