Korea's Ssangyong Runs Out Of Cash, Chinese Won’t Bail Them Out

Korean automaker Ssangyong is straight broke; it’s not even able to pay its 8,000 employees for the month of December. Parent company Shanghai Automotive’s response? Get bent.

Ssangyong is the fourth largest Korean automaker and has recently broken into the European market, first with the Musso SUV and lately with the much more attractive Rexton. Now it's $75 million in debt.

“Due to lack of operating funds for December, it is impossible for the company to pay salaries any longer,” the company announced to workers on Friday. Domestic Ssangyong sales have fallen by more than a third in 2008, forcing it to close 60 dealers.

Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), which acquired 51% in 2004, has refused Ssangyong’s requests for emergency funds. The Korean company now plans to hold a protest rally against SAIC. Koreans vs. Chinese? What is this — 1950 all over again? [via Autocar]