January 14, 2015 11:59
India's Mahindra Group, which owns Korean SUV-maker Ssangyong, said the automaker will give first priority to rehiring workers laid off in 2009 if the company returns to profit.
"I assure you that whenever the time comes for fresh recruits, our top priority would be to look at those who lost their jobs in 2009" in restructuring in the wake of the financial crisis, group chairman Anand Mahindra said Tuesday, adding that he was "deeply concerned" about workers who were made redundant.
But he stressed that the automaker must turn a profit first. "Ssangyong has a chance for survival, and it is a chance we cannot lose. As M&M’s chairman, my priority is to ensure this and protect the jobs of these employees and 100,000 suppliers."
Ssangyong expects to shift into the black in two or three years.
The group acquired the ailing automaker in 2011 for US$470 million.
Mahindra was in Korea to unveil Ssangyong's latest Tivoli SUV, the first new model it has unveiled since the Indian conglomerate took over. The Mahindra Group spent W350 billion (US$1=W1,084) developing the Tivoli and has high hopes for it.
Ssangyong expects to sell 100,000 of the new SUVs in Korea and abroad. It sold just 140,000 cars in total last year.
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