Currently reading: Ssangyong files for receivership after missing loan payment
Korean firm, which is 75% owned by Indian giant Mahindra, aiming to secure restructuring deal after court filing

South Korean manufacturer Ssangyong has filed for bankruptcy in its home country after defaulting on a loan repayment of 60 billion won (£40 million) – but the firm’s UK operations are unaffected by the move. 

The SUV specialist has applied for court receivership, which include rehabilitation and restructuring procedures, due to what a spokesperson termed “difficulties being experienced from the worldwide COVID-19 situation”.

Indian automotive giant Mahindra & Mahindra holds a 74.65% stake in Ssangyong, and said the loan was due to be repaid on 14 December. Ssangyong said it delayed the loan due to “worsening business conditions”, and applied for the rehabilitation procedures to stop interruptions to its business operations.

The firm has applied for an autonomous restructuring support programme, which would give it three months to reach an agreement with stakeholders and creditors to resolve any issues.

The statement from Ssangyong added: “We are making every effort to transform the situation, and to build a more robust and competitive company for the future.”

Kevin Griffin, the boss of Ssangyong Motors UK, said the bankruptcy filings would not affect its operations. “Whilst this situation is not ideal, I strongly believe that the Autonomous Restructuring Programme will result in the birth of a stronger company,” said Griffin. “I want to reiterate that our UK operations are totally unaffected, and we are very much open for business.”

Mahindra bought its stake in Ssangyong in 2010, helping to resuce the firm from near-bankruptcy. But the firm's global sales remain small, and in April Mahindra said it would not make any more investments in the company. In June, Reuters reported that Mahindra was looking to sell its stake in Ssangyong.

Founded in 1954, Ssangyong is Korea's fourth largest car manufacturer. It expanded to the UK in 1994 but has remained a niche player, with just a 0.09% market share last year. 


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James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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pablovski123 23 December 2020

I really think this is a shame - Ssangyond have had a bad rap in the past but they really have put some effort in recently - their Rexton is a standout product in that segment I think and they've done a good job with the Korando too. They need a rebrand - might annoy some people but I think a name like Ssangyong puts people off. I was looking forwrd to the 2021 Rexton coming to the UK - a great car with a much nicer facelift! what's not to like - you can;t get anything like it on the market for that price and with that specification - all the others are either riduclously expensive or they're Soft-Roaders - you want something tough - buy a Ssangyong. 

Riley 1.5 23 December 2020

Shame, but nothing new here. When they were taken over by Daewoo in the late 90's their "coat was on a shoogly peg" as they say up here in Fife and bankruptcy followed, as it did when they bought Panther in the UK. Seems that no matter how long a warranty you give vehicles, now it seems to be seven years, if customers don't consider a brand prestigious, they look elsewhere. I'd guess that some of the designs they've produced over the years haven't helped either. The fact that their operations in the UK are unaffected might suggest that they've a lot of vehicles lying in compounds waiting to be sold. I must admit that despite my Suzuki dealer also selling Ssangyong, I've never even been tempted into one of their models even as a courtesy car when my car's being serviced.

FastRenaultFan 23 December 2020
I would like to know who is Korea's 3rd biggest car manufacturer if Ssangyong is only the 4th biggest? In fact I only thought Jorea had 3 car manufactures with Hyundai been the biggest and Kia the 2and biggest so who is this mysterious 3rd one?
I think it's sad to see Ssangyong in this mess. They have been around longer than Kia and Hyundai doing SUVs mostly and done ok for a while but them lost there way and need something really special to get people buying there cars again. The Tivoli is a nice car and so was the last pre facelift Korando and the current one too even if it's a more boring it does look classier do.
Bar room lawyer 23 December 2020

Would the 3rd largest be

Samsung/Renault or General Motors/Chevrolet (previously Daewoo?)