Currently reading: Report: Ssangyong hunts new owner as £187m buyout falls through
Korean marque's takeover by Edison Motors had been approved but payment deadline has reportedly been missed

Troubled Korean SUV manufacturer Ssangyong is reportedly on the hunt for a new owner after its buyout by nascent EV firm Edison Motors fell through. 

Earlier this year, the £187 million acquisition was approved by Korea's bankruptcy court, leaving it subject to Edison's payment of an outstanding £169m and agreement from more than two-thirds of Ssangyong's creditors. 

It would have given Edison Motors a 95% stake in the Korean SUV manufacturer, but according to South Korean publication The Investor, the start-up failed to meet a 25 March payment deadline and the contract has now been cancelled. It remains to be seen what will happen to the £19.2m down payment Edison had made. 

Autocar has contacted Ssangyong for an official statement. 

The acquisition deal came 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 280 billion won (£170m).

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 would have given 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 was vocal about its 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. Its first EV, the Ssangyong Korando e-Motion, launched in the UK recently, and is set to be 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.

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Edison CEO Kang Young-kwon told The Korea Herald that, if it had been successful, his company would have invested 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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ianp55 30 March 2022

Sad to hear that the buyout of Ssongyang has run into problems,the company produces some decent cars reasonably priced and of good quality

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.

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