Anand Mahindra, the owner of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. that had purchased 70% of Ssangyong Motor Co. for $378 million, said that he is confident that his company will be able to turn Ssangyong’s fortunes around.
Ssangyong is the third-largest maker of sport utility vehicles in South Korea. In the last 20 years, Ssangyong has been very unlucky.
It was sold off four times by different owners, it became bankrupt, and in 2009, its workers took over a plant for nearly 3 months and became involved in one of the most violent strikes in modern Korean history.
The workers used iron pipes and Molotov cocktails to fight air and land police commandos who were armed with tear gas and water cannons.
It was in November 2010 that Anand Mahindra got involved. M&M is part of the Mahindra Group, a conglomerate with 110 subsidiaries in banking, finance, information technology, real estate and resorts.
Mahindra, who serves as the company's vice chairman and managing director, said that he will invest in Ssangyong Motor's people and products.
Mahindra took over Ssangyong as part of plans to make M&M recognized around the world. Mahindra & Mahindra had acquired stakes in three tractor makers in the past six years, allowing it to surpass Deere & Co. as the largest tractor maker in the world according to sales volume in the year ended on March 31, 2010.