Some might disparagingly call it a union of “losers.”
But the companies involved see it as a win-win strategy that hopefully will lead them into a turn-around and sweet vindication. Ssangyong Motor, the country’s smallest carmaker and currently under court receivership, and Daewoo Motor Sales Corporation, a former sales partner with GM Daewoo, yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the sales of Ssangyong vehicles, the two companies said in a late afternoon release.
Two weeks ago GM Daewoo unilaterally announced that it severed ties with Daewoo Motor Sales Corporation, surprising and enraging long-time dealership partners.
“The partnership with Ssangyong Motor is a measure to maintain our sales personnel and sales network and to offset the losses from the breakup with GM Daewoo,” said Daewoo Motor Sales in the statement.
The two companies said the MOU will pave the way for Daewoo Motor Sales Corporation to sell in Korea some of the Ssangyong vehicles such as the Chairman W and Chairman H luxury sedans, and the Rodius van.
It is a nonexclusive deal, meaning Ssangyong’s existing dealerships will be able to continue selling Ssangyong Motor’s vehicles, the companies explained.
They said the formal deal between the two is expected to be reached by the end of this month. If the deal is made, Daewoo Motor Sales will inject 20 billion won ($17.6 million) into Ssangyong to help the struggling carmaker.
“Ssangyong lacks credit to take out loans that it needs for business normalization, so we plan to provide some help so that it can stand on its own feet,” said An Seog-su, a public relations official of Daewoo Motor Sales. “It will be a win-win strategy.”
In a March 10 press conference in Seoul, GM Daewoo President and CEO Michael Arcamone said his company has severed ties with Daewoo Motor Sales and is introducing a multiple retailer system as an alternative.
Until then, Daewoo Motor Sales had sold GM Daewoo vehicles since GM’s takeover of Daewoo Motors in 2002. Daewoo Motor Sales Corporation was spun off in 1993 from Daewoo Group and had been an exclusive dealer for Daewoo Motor.
“We plan to prove our know-how that we have accumulated for so long in the auto sales to [Ssangyong],” Choi Jong-yeol, a managing executive director of Daewoo Motor Sales. “We together hope to open a new era in the multilateral integration sales system in the local automobile market.”
By Moon Gwang-lip [email@example.com]
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