Mahindra and Mahindra owned SsangYong Motor could be next brand to expand to the West
After almost becoming insolvent in 2011, Mahindra and Mahindra owned SsangYong may make it to North America as the next new car brand. This is quite interesting when you put it against a backdrop of constant fear over Chinese cars coming to our shores.
The Korean car manufacturer was saved by Indian Mahindra and Mahindra in the 11th hour by way of a 70 percent equity purchase, effectively taking control of the beleaguered company. Since then, the parent company has invested some $700 million USD into SsangYong with plans to inject another $1 billion USD. It’s all part of a plan to expand their range of cars, make them more competitive, and export them to the United States (primarily).
“I cannot tell you when, but we have to go [to North America], definitely,” explained Yoo Il Lee, president and CEO of SsangYong, to Just-Auto.
We’ve seen this story told before but with different characters.
After a failed launch in North America and a series of bad investments, Daewoo was also on the brink of collapse. General Motors, who had supplied vehicle architectures to Daewoo in the past, purchased the Korean manufacturer in 2001.
Ironically, Daewoo had once tried to save SsangYong in the past and briefly owned the company for two years before spinning it off again.
General Motors rebranded Daewoo to GM Korea and sources small cars from Korean facilities for sale in the North American and other markets.
Mahindra and Mahindra has also had aspirations of cracking the North American market with its own brand. After the failed launch of its low-cost diesel pickup, dealers have been in a battle with Mahindra and Mahindra over their contracts to sell the products in the US, resulting in court actions.