Goodbye SsangYong, hello KG Mobility.
With a new owner comes new ideas, and the new owners of the artist formerly known as SsangYong have decided Korea’s lesser-known carmaker needs a new name.
The new KG Mobility moniker, reported by Yonhap News Agency, was locked in at a shareholder meeting this week as the brand looks to transform into an electric car, autonomous vehicle, and software specialist.
We’ve reached out to SsangYong Australia to see if there’s any information about how the name change will impact local operations.
Kwak Jae-sun, the chairman of both SsangYong and its new owner, chemical and steel conglomerate KG Group, has previously said “the new cars will come out as KG”.
SsangYong was saved from bankruptcy by a consortium led by KG Group late in 2022.
The reported cost, according to The Korea Herald, was 950 billion won ($A1.026 billion). The Korean market regulator said the deal would not hamper competition in related markets, including cold rolled steel sheets and car-making.
That price is more than three times the 304.8 billion won that Korean electric bus manufacturer Edison Motors had agreed to pay for SsangYong, before its deal was scuppered.
SsangYong Motor had been under court receivership since April 2021, after its parent Mahindra & Mahindra failed to find a new investor amid the pandemic and financial difficulties.
The company’s home life has been troubled for years, and it never seems to have a stable parent for long.
Daewoo bought a controlling stake in the company in 1997, only to offload it in 2000 as it experienced perilous financial woes of its own.
It endured a tumultuous few years under Chinese ownership, with SAIC Motor acquiring 51 per cent in 2004 but walking away in 2009 and leaving it in receivership.
Mahindra & Mahindra was the next parent to adopt SsangYong, acquiring a controlling stake of 70 per cent for 523 billion won in 2011.