Ssangyong Motor Company Limited (SYMC) and Mahindra & Mahindra Limited (M&M) have today announced the signing of a definitive agreement, securing the short-term future of the Korean-based SUV manufacturer.
M&M will acquire a 70 percent stake of SYMC, with the cost of the acquisition totaling $US463 million ($474 million) – $US378 million ($387 million) in new stocks and $US85 million ($87 million) in corporate bonds.
The acquisition process is scheduled to be completed by March next year.
SYMC has been in a state of corporate rehabilitation since February 2009 when it was put into receivership after the effects of the GFC compounded a $77 million annual loss and a drop-off in vehicle demand.
Today’s agreement was signed by Yooil Lee and Youngtae Park from SYMC and Dr Pawan Goenka of M&M.
“The securing of a solid partner who has both financial capability and is engaged in diverse markets will allow Ssangyong to emerge as a global SUV player through the strengthening of research and development, investments in product development, better business competitiveness and global sales expansion,” Mr Yooil Lee said.
Dr Goenka said he was committed to investing in a new Ssangyong product portfolio to gain momentum in global markets.
“There is also an opportunity to introduce a premium portfolio of SUVs in the Indian market, providing a new growth avenue for Ssangyong and further strengthen our dominant position in the UV segment,” he said.
Ssangyong is in the middle of a brand revival in Australia, with a raft of model updates in July.
The launch of the all-new Korando C crossover in January 2011 – which is easily the cleanest looking and most stylish Ssangyong in recent history – should push the brand into more mainstream territory.
The Korando C will be powered by a 129kW/360Nm turbo diesel engine, and according to Ssangyong will be capable of combined cycle fuel consumption of around 6.0 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 157g/km.
It will be available in front- and all-wheel drive, manual and automatic transmissions, and feature stability control, active rollover protection, six airbags and a rear load compartment capacity of 486 litres.
Pricing will be revealed closer to the vehicle’s January launch.