SsangYong Motor announced that the acquisition deal by electric bus maker Edison Motors was canceled. According to news sources, the prospective buyer didn’t complete the payment before the deadline, with SsangYong officials stating they will look for a new buyer.
The deal between the troubled SsangYong Motor and a consortium led by Edison Motors was rumored since October 2021, with the two parties signing the contract in January 2022. The acquisition of a majority stake in SsangYong would cost the consortium 305 billion won ($252 million), with a 10 percent payment upfront. The remaining 274.3 billion won ($227 million) should have been deposited by March 25 which didn’t happen, breaking the terms of the contract.
SsangYong is majority-owned by Mahindra & Mahindra, who bought a 75 percent stake in 2010. The company filed for receivership in 2020 as it wasn’t able to pay back its loans. After failing to find a buyer, SsangYong finally went into court receivership in April 2021. Automotive News Europe reports that SsangYong sold 84,496 vehicles in 2021, which is 21 percent lower than in 2020. European sales saw a 15 percent increase year to year although they are still quite low at 11,130 vehicles.
Despite the financial hurdles, SsangYong has been modernizing its range. In the past few years, the company has launched the new Korando, the facelifted Tivoli, a significantly updated Rexton, and the fully electric Korando EV. Furthermore, SsangYong has teased the Jeep-like X200 plus the rugged J100 in both SUV and pickup forms for 2022. All those models show that the Korean automaker could have a future as long as it manages to find a buyer willing to pay its debts.