With a more stable footing thanks to the new owner, once besieged Ssangyong has struggled to record its first quarter operating profit since 2016.
The automaker has bounced back, reporting to Korean media an operating profit of 4.1 billion won (A$4.78 million) in the final quarter of 2022.
In the final quarter of 2021, SsangYong recorded a loss of 21.3 billion won (A$24.84 million).
Operating loss also shrank from 260.7 billion won (A$304 million) to 117.5 billion won (A$137 million), a reduction of 54.9 percent.
Globally, SsangYong sales increased 35 percent from 84,496 to 113,960 units.
Sales in Korea are up 50 percent, driven by demand for the new Torres SUV that will hit Australian shores this year.
SsangYong sold 11,909 Torres SUVs in the fourth quarter, making it the brand’s best-selling model in Korea.
Strong demand for the SUV has been blamed for delays in exporting the Torres to other markets.
SsangYong sales increased by 32.4 percent in 2022 to 3943 units, with the Musso up 3.9 percent to 1956 units, the related Rexton SUV jumping 97.7 percent to 1467 sales, and the Korando up 47.3 percent to 520 sales.
With its acquisition by the KG Group, SsangYong is set to be renamed to KG Mobility pending board approval.
“We have decided to adopt a new name to fully utilize the strengths of SsangYong Motor,” said SsangYong and KG Group chairman Kwak Jae-sun.
“Under the SsangYong name, the company has fandom but also has a painful image.
“The new car will come out as a KG, but its manufacturing history will never change and have the same conditions.”
SsangYong has had a troubled past, changing hands several times before Mahindra & Mahindra took it over in 2011.
Acquired by Daewoo in 1997, its new corporate parent later ran into financial problems and was forced to divest SsangYong in 2000.
In 2004, SAIC Motor acquired 51 percent but left in 2009, which saw Ssangyong become the beneficiary.
Mahindra & Mahindra acquired SsangYong in 2011, acquiring a controlling stake of 70 percent for 523 billion won. But it too has gone in 2020, leaving SsangYong in receivership and looking for a new owner.
After a tumultuous bidding process to regain ownership, including the inability of initial bidder Edison Motors to lead a successful bid, a consortium led by the KG Group paid three times as much to acquire a 62 percent stake in the company.
In August 2022, the Seoul Bankruptcy Court approved KG’s rescue plan.
This is not the first time that KG Group and SsangYong have collaborated. KG Steel, part of the KG Group, previously supplied steel to the automaker for its vehicles.