SOUTH KOREA: Ssangyong future still uncertain
Ssangyong Motor's future is still clouded after a court-appointed administrator hinted at the possibility of disbanding the carmaker last week.
Administrator Park Young-tae told the Korea Herald that creditors might "prefer shutting down the company to get back debts since its permanence is unpredictable", the first time he has mentioned a possible closure.
Ssangyong subsequently said in a statement the administator's comment was only an expression to remind employees of the current situation in an attempt to urge them to be committed to reviving the company with a sense of duty.
Though it targeted 40,000 vehicle sales overseas this year, Ssangyong's actual volume last month was only 2,369, off almost 70%.
Consumers appear to have shunned purchasing cars built by the maker, which could potentially go bankrupt, industry sources have told the Korean newspaper.
Korea Development Bank (KDB), Ssangyong's main creditor, said late lasy week it hadn't sent any message on the beleaguered maker's liquidation.
According to the report, it will be a couple more months before it is known if Ssangyong will stay afloat, as creditors will confirm the overall amount of bad loans and decide if they will give up on the carmaker at a meeting scheduled on 22 May, following an investigation.
Former owner Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation last month gave up management control with the commencement of court receivership but still retains its 51% stake in bankruptcy protection.
Rumours suggest the planned new compact SUV, currently known as the C-200, and supposed to be launched in September, will now not be launched until early next year due to the financial crunch, the Korea Herald said.
The automaker still needs to find 100bn won to complete development but missed a 92bn won payment due at the end of January and has 150bn won in bonds maturing on 25 April.