China Watch : SAIC may help VW to buy SsangYong Motor

George Gao,, 23rd September, 2009

Volkswagen AG is planning to acquire the cash-strapped South Korean automaker SsangYong Motor, with the help of its Chinese partner, SAIC Motor, SinoCast reported today.

SAIC Motor, the former majority shareholder of SsangYong Motor, has cooperated with Volkswagen for more than 20 years through the joint venture Shanghai VW, so the Chinese company expects to retain its holdings in SsangYong via the cooperation with its German partner.

The Volkswagen Supervisory Board Chairman Ferdinand K. Piech said last week that his company was considering acquisition of two auto brands to add to its existing ten. German truck producer MAN SE is supposed to be one of the targets and the other is likely to be located in Asia.

Analysts believed that Volkswagen could acquire SsangYong to add a production capacity of 250,000 units at low costs and use the cutting-edge electric car battery technologies in South Korea.

SsangYong Motor has recently submitted to a  turnaround plan to the Bankruptcy Court in which the company that suggests cutting the stake of its biggest shareholder, SAIC Motor, to 11.2% from the current 51%.


Clive Goldthorp

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