Mar 30, 2023
Once-Bankrupt Korean Carmaker Revives With $30,000 Electric SUV
(Bloomberg) -- KG Mobility Co., the South Korean automaker formerly known as Ssangyong Motor Co. before going through bankruptcy, is seeking to revive its fortunes with a $30,000 electric sports utility vehicle.
The carmaker Thursday unveiled four new vehicles at the Seoul Mobility Show, including the Torres EVX, its first electric car since conglomerate KG Group bought a majority stake in the firm in September 2022. Using lithium-iron-phosphate batteries made by BYD Co., the SUV has a driving range of 500 kilometers (310 miles) on a single charge.
It will be available in South Korea and Europe in the second half of this year. In Korea, it will be priced at less than 40 million won ($30,700) after subsidies.
“We successfully completed all processes for a restructuring and now have a new major shareholder,” Chief Executive Officer Jeong Yong Won said. “We promise you that we will never collapse again.”
An LFP battery is increasingly popular among carmakers because of its safety, Jeong added. The SUV is aimed at younger South Koreans who are concerned about battery fires, he said.
The carmaker will maintain its partnership with BYD in the long term, Chairman Kwak Jaesun said. When asked about European plans to reduce reliance on Chinese minerals for EVs, Kwak replied: “BYD is not the only (battery) supplier for us.”
--With assistance from Kyungji Cho.
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