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Old 21st October 2019, 16:29   #1
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Default What did Mahindra get out of SsangYong?

SsangYong Motor is Korea's fourth largest automobile manufacturer. Origins of the carmaker can be traced back to 1950s as a steel trading company. In 1986, it was taken over by SsangYong Business Group and renamed.

In the 1960s, the company used to build Jeeps for the US Army along with trucks and buses. In 1983, the Jeeps under license were spun off and sold under the "Korando" brand.

In 1991, the company entered into a technology partnership with Daimler-Benz. SsangYong developed the Musso, with the technology from Mercedes-Benz. It was initially sold by the German carmaker and later on by SsangYong. Once the Musso was no longer sold, the Korean carmaker started producing badge-engineered versions of the MB100, Istana (MB 100 bus variant) as well as started incorporating Daimler tech in cars like the Korando (engine and gearbox), Rexton & Kyron (gearbox) and Chairman H (chassis and gearbox).

In 1997, Daewoo Motors (now GM Korea) picked up a majority stake in SsangYong but sold if off in 2000 itself due to financial troubles. In 2004, Chinese carmaker SAIC acquired a 51% stake. In 2009, due to losses to the tune of US$ 75.42 million, the company was put into receivership.

In 2010, Mahindra was chosen as the preferred bidder for the Korean carmaker amongst 4 others. In 2011, 70% shares of SsangYong were acquired by Mahindra after being named the preferred bidder for the bankruptcy-protected company at a price of US$ 463.6 million.

In 2015, the company launched Tivoli - the first car under the new owners. in 2017, the company sold 106,677 units in the domestic market and 37,008 units were exported. This number was higher than its last highest figure from the year 2003. Tivoli alone contributed to that figure by over 50,000 units. For 2018, the company improved to 109,140 units.

In 2016, SsangYong reported the first profit in 9 years. However, since then the company has subsequently reported a loss for 2017 and 2018 calendar years.

Mahindra has introduced 3 cars in India taking inputs from SsangYong. They include the Marazzo, Aluras G4 and the XUV300. Combining the engineering efforts from the Korean company as well as taking inputs from Italian car-design house Pininfarina, these 3 products demonstrate a stark change in overall product offerings of the Indian maker. Mahindra had targeted combined monthly sales of 9,000 units from these 3 cars.

In 2019, Mahindra invested a further Rs. 316.5 crore and increase their stake to 74.64%.

Mahindra is now working with SsangYong on the development of new electric vehicles for the Korean mass-market.

So, what do you think of this? What has Mahindra really got out of acquiring SsangYong?

Some highlights of the Mahindra's SsangYong acquisition:
Sold only one model - the Rexton under the SsangYong brand before discontinuing it in India.

The Alturas G4 is selling sub 100 units for the last 3 months and was doing between 100-200 cars / month prior.

XUV 300 (based on the Tivoli) is down to 2,500 units per month from 4-5k range when launched.

Marazzo too has had some inputs from the South Korean carmaker, though not as much as the XUV 300. It is selling in sub 1,000 units since the past 3 months.

Many consider Mahindra got SsangYong at a good price which gave them access to tech, more markets (98 countries), a large dealer network and strong R&D capabilities.

What did Mahindra get out of SsangYong?-12.jpg

Sources: 1, 2, 3, Team-BHP Sales threads, 4, 5.
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Old 21st October 2019, 18:34   #2
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Default Re: What did Mahindra get out of SsangYong?

I think the article is too focussed about the influence of Ssangyong in India. Looking at Ssangyong globally, there is hardly any global platform/sub component sharing strategy visible at this point in time This could generate huge savings.

Let me take the example of PSA and GM Europe. Peugeot are moving extremely fast in consolidating GM Europe products. The Corsa uses a PSA platform. The Crossovers are PSA based and the Astra has been re-engined with PSA units if I am correct and the erstwhile GM-Europe entity is making a profit after over 15 years.

Last edited by ajmat : 22nd October 2019 at 09:41.
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Old 21st October 2019, 20:14   #3
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Default Re: What did Mahindra get out of SsangYong?

Well, what did Mahindra get out of Ford, Renault, Maini and Pininfarina either?

The products (or even concepts) born out of these marriages weren't spectacular by any means.

But I guess the knowledge gained out of these partnerships are invaluable for Mahindra. As they clearly stated - Scorpio would never have been possible without the know-how gained from Ford partnership. Similarly - we have appreciated the quality and workmanship inside the Mahindra-Ssanyong cars like the Alturas G4 and the XUV 3OO. Both these cars are way ahead of their indigenous products like the XUV 5OO.

Now surely they wouldn't be taking a step back when introducing their own next generation of cars either - would they?
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Old 21st October 2019, 22:42   #4
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Default Re: What did Mahindra get out of SsangYong?

If we consider the XUV 300 case alone, we can clearly understand how good the Korean tech has amalgamated with Mahindra's frugality to churn out a beautiful product. Only area they messed up is the back seat.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 10:07   #5
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Default Re: What did Mahindra get out of SsangYong?

Originally Posted by albertprince View Post
Only area they messed up is the back seat.
I think the mess up sums of Mahindra's indigenous contribution to the partnership's products . The Tivoli (agreed it was also launched under Mahindra's ownership of the Ssangyong brand) looks far more proportionate. Mahindra's Indian contribution to the design was the overdone DRLs up front, haphazardly chopping off the rear for sub 4m fitment without any other cabin changes & the overdone (to some, I don't mind it) rear LED setup.

Also - IMO for a brand that owns part in a foreign car maker (SsangYong) and one of the most recognized design houses (Pininfarina) - the designs are still quite not upto the expected mark. Except perhaps for the Marazzo, all other Mahindra cars are still flashy, overdone & crude in one area or the other in the design department. They get one thing right but botch up another. I hoped to see more design maturity in their cars by this time after the acquisitions. Marazzo was a good sight but then the XUV300 didn't feel like a step in the right direction to me. The upcoming new generation Thar, Scorpio & XUV500 test mules aren't inspiring too much confidence in the "proportions" / "understated looks" areas either.

If they should pick one thing from SsangYong urgently - its the product naming! The lack of imagination is atrocious. Please spare us of the XUV xOO nomenclature for god's sake. SsangYong has very simple & sensible product names. I like those far more than those of M&M in India.

I'm talking only of the looks & designs part. From utility, engineering, performance etc - no problem the cars are right up there and the sales numbers show it. M&M is one of the top 3 car makers while not having any mention-able presence in the major segment of hatchbacks & sedans!

Last edited by Reinhard : 22nd October 2019 at 10:11.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 10:38   #6
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Default Re: What did Mahindra get out of SsangYong?

I think the question should be what Mahindra needs to learn instead of what they got from XYZ company. In fact, if you see the three products that are mentioned in the first post, there is very little that is wrong with them. They could have succeeded big time. But, all of them failed (most gratifyingly for me, I might add).

The most important thing that Mahindra needs to learn is: how to use a nicotine patch. Hopefully, it will help them quit the heavy stuff they are smoking. Marazzo obviously falls in the category of Ertiga. Ertiga 1.5 ZDI Plus ex-showroom price is 11.2 Lakhs. Marazzo M8 ex-showroom price is 14.68 Lakhs. They are asking for a premium of 3.48 Lakhs on top of Ertiga! In case of XUV 3OO, they chopped the Tivoli to save on the GST. But, instead of passing the GST savings to customers, they decided to keep it for themselves. Result? You get a Ecosport rival at a Creta price point. Even the XUV 5OO is no more a value for money product and it show in the sales numbers. With every iteration, they added a new variant called W-something and jacked up the price.

Despite the loud proclamations of Ronald Reagan, greed is not always good.

Last edited by ashlil : 22nd October 2019 at 10:41.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 10:47   #7
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Default Re: What did Mahindra get out of SsangYong?

Having owned two pure Mahindras (XUV) and one rebadged Ssangyong (Alturas G4), the difference between these two types of cars is very obvious. I recently also test drove XUV 300 W8 and it's a lovely car for average auto buyers, inside out. The fit and finish is poles apart from XUV 500. Mahindra tried really hard with the Plush XUV 500, quilted seats, soft-touch dashboard, loading it with a lot of features but the harshness of the car is easily noticed. Whereas XUV300 and Alturas are pleasing to eyes and overall mind and body.

I believe Marazzo was a better packaged car. My little one fell in love with the roominess and overall quality of the car. I guess these small influences are what Mahindra will learn from Ssangyong and their other relationship. Mahindra is an engineering company and for them to launch Scorpio and XUV is an amazing feat from an organisation perspective. It's very difficult for a tractor/Boleros/Armadas selling organisation to handle 'elite' customers wanting a Toyotesque experience in their showroom. If the product is good, the people selling and servicing them evolve. And, that's what Mahindra will be getting from these acquisitions on the surface. Underneath, they will be improving the platforms, electronics, NVH, fine tuning the car etc. And, they will be doomed if they don't. We expect Tata to learn from JLR but when it comes to Mahindra learning from Ssangyong/Pininfarina and ilk, we quickly dismiss.

Before buying Alturas, I spoke to quite a few people who have ownership experience of Ssangyongs in Europe and Malaysia, and most people said they are reliable cars if not very pretty. I think, Mahindra will acquire this aspect from their acquisitions soon.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 12:06   #8
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Default Re: What did Mahindra get out of SsangYong?

I think that the ultimate answer to this question will be served when we see the new XUV 500. The XUV 500 is perhaps as important to Mahindra as the Scorpio. Only the Bolero is more important.

The new XUV 500 is rumoured to be based on the Ssangyong Korando. If this review is anything to go by, I won't be disappointed at all with this partnership-

The Korando actually looks a lot more like a mini Alturas than a bigger Tivoli from the inside.

The XUV 300 is perhaps the only Mahindra which appeals to me personally and we know that it is based on the Ssangyong Tivoli. The Alturas has great interiors which are much better than the competition though the Endy's pull is still something which can't be ignored. I see no reason why the new XUV won't attract a lot of fence sitters who are vary of opting for a Mahindra, which includes me.

Let's hope for the best for our very own Mahindra.

Last edited by AYP : 22nd October 2019 at 12:34.
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Old 11th February 2020, 18:51   #9
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Default Mahindra draws up $423 million turnaround plan for Korean unit Ssangyong

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra will invest $423 million to turnaround its struggling South Korean unit Ssangyong Motor Co and make it profitable by 2022, a senior company executive told reporters in Mumbai on Tuesday.
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