Mahindra has emerged as the preferred bidder for the acquisition of a majority stake in South Korean SUV maker, Ssangyong Motor Company. This strategic acquisition, when concluded, would make Mahindra and Ssangyong together a force to reckon with in the global SUV space. It is intended that Ssangyong will continue to function as an independent entity with Korean management. There are strong complementarities between the Ssangyong and Mahindra portfolio of products. The wide sales and distribution networks and complementary product lines will provide access to many overseas markets for both companies. There is also an opportunity to introduce a premium portfolio of SUVs in the Indian market, providing a new growth avenue for Ssangyong.
Ssangyong is a Korean manufacturer of auto and aggregates, with 7 models under 5 brands. The 7 models include 2 large sized sedans, 4 SUVs and 1 MPV. It also has a manufacturing plant for gasoline and diesel engines as well as axles. Ssangyong is a significant player in the SUV segment in Korea, having recorded 1.3 million SUV sales from 1990 to 2009. It has a strong brand and presence in Europe, Russia, South America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Established in 1962, Ssangyong has more than 1,200 dealers globally. It has R&D manpower strength of around 600 people and modern R&D infrastructure for design, testing and validation.