Following a year-long search, struggling Korean automaker SsangYong has found a buyer.
SsangYong on Monday named the buyer as a consortium led by fellow Korean automaker Edison Motors. The consortium has agreed to pay 305 billion won (approximately $255 million) for Ssangyong, whose majority shareholder is India's Mahindra with a 75% stake.
Edison Motors was only established in 2015. The company builds electric buses and is developing electric commercial trucks, and if all goes to plan will start selling electric crossovers and SUVs under the SsangYong brand.
SsangYong last July showed off the design for an electric crossover dubbed the J100, together with the design for a Jeep Wrangler-esque SUV dubbed the X200. The company also said it planned to launch an electric version of its existing Korando crossover.
Mahindra purchased SsangYong in 2011 but struggled to turn it into a viable business. Mahindra eventually held back on further investment in SsangYong as it looked to preserve cash in view of its own declining sales, including canceling a planned $406 million investment back in 2019. After canceling that investment, Mahindra started its search for a buyer.
Without the new funds, SsangYong soon ran into insolvency and was ordered by a bankruptcy court in 2020 to restructure. SsangYong like most automakers has been hurt by the slowdown caused by Covid-19, though its sales were already slowing prior to the pandemic. It sold 132,799 vehicles in 2019, which was down from 141,995 the year prior. Its 2020 sales tally dropped to about 107,000 vehicles, and 2021's tally came in at just 84,000 vehicles.