The light has finally emerged at the end of the tunnel for SsangYong. After several years of questions over the Korean marque’s ownership, its new owners have been formally announced this week.
A consortium of companies led by Edison Motors, a Korean-based EV start-up, have acquired SsangYong for approximately US$255million. The announcement confirms reports from last October, which indicated Edison Motors’ bid in its early phase.
Edison Motors now owns a majority 95 per cent stake in SsangYong, an advance on the 75 per cent that former owners Mahindra used to own. Edison Motors CEO Kang Young-kwon said last year that if the company was successful in taking over SsangYong, it would invest over US$600million in the company’s development.
SsangYong fell into receivership last April following a significant reduction in investment from Mahindra. Despite this the brand actually had quite a vocal 2021, with numerous new-vehicle reveals and concept teasers.
The lion’s share of these are electrified models, including plans to build an electric version of its Rhino double-cab pick-up and the unveiled-in-December Korando e-Motion EV. SsangYong’s local arm has already confirmed the latter for the New Zealand market.
Despite being a relatively youthful company (it was founded in 2015), Edison Motors has covered solid ground in the electric vehicle space via its plug-in commercial vehicles. It produces electric buses, trucks, and scooters.
As previously reported, the start-up brand claims it’s in the midst of developing a tri-motor 100kWh electric powertrain capable of producing 480kW of power and travelling 800km to a charge. Although this is most likely to appear in its commercial projects.
Edison Motors and its CEO haven’t been shy about announcing Tesla as their target in the marketplace. Indeed, the firm has already plotted to release an EV sedan called the Smart S and an SUV called the Smart X — the same letters used for the equivalent Tesla Model S and Model X.