SsangYong Purchased by EV Conglomerate


Ssangyong Rodius - Image: Ssangyong

While the Korean automaker has long been a punching bag thanks to unfortunate styling decisions in vehicles like the first Rodius, it has in fact sold its fair share of vehicles in different markets around the world. After being passed around by a variety of corporate overlords, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2020.

Now, a takeover by a Korean EV company called Edison Motors has been approved by the suits in that country.

Earlier this morning, reports surfaced that a court has given its approval for Edison to acquire the remains of SsangYong, setting in motion their plan to take over the automaker. With approximately a quarter billion dollars on the line, Edison hopes the deal will provide it with the means to break into the consumer EV market. At present, Edison busies itself with the development of electric buses and commercial trucks.

Up until this point, SsangYong’s majority shareholder was Mahindra, a company that held a 75 percent stake in the place. That investment kicked off in 2010, following the earlier involvement of organizations like Daewoo and SAIC Motor. Prior to that, they were in bed with Mercedes with a technology partnership stretching back to the early ‘90s, a collab that saw plenty of German powertrains plugged into various and sundry SsangYong products. Fun fact: Until 1988, the company was actually called Dong-A Motor.

Mahindra stopped putting much time and money into SsangYong about three years ago, a decision that surely led to the bankruptcy restructuring in late 2020. There’s also the small matter of a global pandemic that has been unkind to automobile manufacturers and the world in general. It could be construed Mahindra didn’t want to invest more moolah into the place given the inevitable onslaught of EVs from competitors and wholesale changes to the SsangYong lineup that keeping up with the (electric) Joneses would require. EV design studies were released but that’s about as far as it all proceeded.

There’s a good chance that work will continue under this new ownership since Edison’s sole purpose for being is centered around the design and production of all-electric vehicles. We bet none will look like the Rodius.

[Image: Ssangyong]

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