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Could SsangYong's new owner be an underwear brand? The drawn-out search for embattled Korean carmaker's saviour to be finalised this month

The Torres SUV is the latest new model to be revealed by SsangYong.

South Korean manufacturer SsangYong may have finally found its saviour - but it’s not another carmaker, nor is it an investment firm.

The embattled automaker is being eyed by Ssangbangwool, which is one of Korea’s biggest underwear brands.

SsangYong has been searching for a new owner ever since Indian conglomerate Mahindra and Mahindra cut its funding in late 2020 following mounting debt.

According to reports, Ssangbangwool confirmed its intention earlier this month to acquire SsangYong Motor via an auction that is scheduled for later this month. The new owner could be announced imminently.

SsangYong will select the owner in an auction that pits companies against each other as they place bids to become the preferred bidder.

In June, SsangYong chose a Korean consortium led by chemical manufacturer KG Group as the lead bidder ahead of other companies including Ssangbangwool and EV parts maker EL BT.

The new bidders follow a failed bid to buy SsangYong motor by Korean electric bus company Edison Motors, which was unable to come up with the 304.8 billion won (A$342m) by the late-March deadline.

The Korando e-Motion EV is part of SsangYong's new-model rollout. The Korando e-Motion EV is part of SsangYong's new-model rollout.

A Korean court extended the deadline for SsangYong to find a new owner by six months and the new end date is mid-October.

SsangYong has continued manufacturing cars during its search for a new owner and the brand’s factory-backed Australian arm has continued to operate business as usual.

In fact, SsangYong’s Australian sales have grown slightly in 2022, with a 0.8 per cent rise over the same period last year. The Korando mid-size SUV is up by 26.7 per cent year on year with 204 sales, while the Rexton large SUV is up by 119.4 per cent to 531 units.

The Musso ute is down by 44.7 per cent, but that is largely due to supply constraints.

Despite the brand’s ownership woes, it shows no signs of slowing its new-model rollout.

In the past year SsangYong has revealed or launched the electric version of the Korando, dubbed the e-Motion, and the electric Musso. Earlier this month it ripped the covers from a new model line, called the Torres, that will sit above the Korando in its SUV line-up.