Korean EV Start-Up Edison Buys Struggling SsangYong

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The acquisition follows years of financial trouble for SsangYong.

Since June 2020, majority stakeholder Mahindra & Mahindra has been seeking to unload its 75% stake in forlorn left-field carmaker, SsangYong. The Indian company rescued the Korean carmaker, then on the brink of bankruptcy, in 2011. Things haven't improved much, but despite this, EV start-up Edison expressed interest in the company last year, with Autocar now reporting it was primed to take over the reins of SsangYong for over $231 million. That deal is all but completed now, with Korea's bankruptcy court approving the acquisition, says the Korean Economic Daily newspaper, pending Edison's payment of an outstanding $229 million. More than two-thirds of SsangYong's creditors must also agree to the deal before it can be finalized.

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Established as recently as 2015, Edison Motors produces electric buses and is currently developing electric-powered commercial vehicles. Autocar reports the acquisition will provide Edison with a greater, worldwide market presence, courtesy of SsangYong's affordable vehicle range. Edison is expected to hand over a detailed plan to the bankruptcy court by March 1 in order to demonstrate it can quash Ssangyong's financial troubles.

Kang Young-kwon, founder and CEO of Edison, told The Korea Herald that if everything goes according to plan, his company will invest between $670m and $837m to bring SsangYong back to life. His end goal? Transforming what is South Korea's fourth-biggest car company into a viable rival to industry giants such as Tesla, General Motors, and Volkswagen.

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Despite rapidly falling sales figures and an ailing financial situation figures, SsangYong has been clear on its future direction. The company's electric Korando crossover is to be made available to customers in the near future, with vehicles such as the K100 (both pictured below) in the pipeline. The K100 is a rugged-looking SUV, with styling cues from the Jeep Wrangler and the latest GMC Hummer EV Truck

Edison may only produce commercial electric vehicles at the moment but aims to infiltrate the passenger car market with a powerful electric sedan called the Smart S and an SUV known as the Smart X. With SsangYong's dealer network, new offerings, and experience all aiding the young startup, this could prove to be a very smart buy.

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Source Credits: Autocar

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