Have you ever made an impulse purchase online late at night, only to wake up in the morning and decide you really never wanted it at all? It seems Edison Motors, maker of zero-emissions city buses, is cancelling its order before it ever ships: The company failed to make a $224 million payment, and SsangYong is back on the market. You should buy it.
Now, look, I know what you’re gonna say. You “don’t have $224 million” and “have no real need to own a Korean automaker, particularly one that has no market presence in the United States.” I can assure you, this is a good financial decision. In fact, you can’t afford not to buy Ssangyong.
Here’s what we know. Global SUV sales are on the rise, replacing the sedan as the de facto family vehicle. But with auto prices spiking due to the chip shortage, buyers can’t afford new cars. In my business-college courses, we called this a market opportunity: People who want inexpensive SUVs, but can’t get their hands on them.
Enter SsangYong, a company that sells compact crossovers for just over seventeen thousand dollars (converted from Euros) in Germany. It offers SUVs small and large, and even a compact truck for those Maverick buyers still waiting for their orders to be fulfilled. The product lineup, desirable vehicles for affordable prices, works. The company just needs a bit of help.
SsangYong’s global website is mobile-only, with the link that should lead to a desktop page restricted from view. Its media site design is, to borrow a media industry term, hot garbage. Basically, what we have here is a fundamentally solid vehicle manufacturer that can’t quite manage vehicle sales. Give a competent marketing department (or outside agency) free reign to redesign sales flows, and you’re golden, Ponyboy.
But it all comes down to money, right? After all, $224 million is a hefty chunk of change for most of us. But SsangYong pulls in that much money regularly, and could do so even more effectively if introduced to more global markets. This is the kind of thing that loan underwriters love on a balance sheet. (I asked Jalopnik’s own Andy Kalmowitz for “a word for the person that issues a loan,” and he immediately replied “shark.”) You, as a Jalop reader, know these markets. You got this. Please, buy SsangYong.