Ssangyong GB has ended discussions over a possible takeover of Mitsubishi’s UK operation, a new report suggests.
Citing a senior source close to the talks, Car Dealer Magazine understands that they fell through because of “substantial” differences in the perceived value of the Colt Car Company, Mitsubishi’s UK importer.
Last month, it emerged that the parent company of Ssangyong’s UK operations – Gibraltar-based Bassadone Automotive Group – was in talks with the global Mitsubishi brand over buying distribution rights for its cars in the UK.
However, the source suggests that Mitsubishi had “unrealistic expectations” of what its UK business was worth, meaning both parties were “worlds apart”.
Mitsubishi announced in the summer that it would halt new model launches in Europe as part of a global cost-cutting operation, effectively sparking the brand’s withdrawal from the market.
An official announcement is said to be expected later today, but it looks likely Mitsubishi will stop selling cars in the UK as early as next September and operate as an aftersales/parts business only.
Ssangyong’s main interest in the Colt Car Company was reportedly its dealer operations, which would allow rapid growth of the Korean maker’s sparse network.
“We have already taken on 10 Mitsubishi dealers and are in talks with 20 more,” a Ssangyong source told Car Dealer.
It’s likely that the failed takeover won’t be good news for the Colt Car Company’s workforce. A number of redundancies are said to have already been made, with further to be expected if it becomes a parts-only business.
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