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Ssangyong Motor reports first net profits in 9 years

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Ssangyong Motor on Wednesday posted its first net profits in nine years, overcoming its crisis that continued for six years from 2009. The local automobile industry says Ssangyong’s case is a reminder of the basic truth that cooperation between labor and management benefits both sides. Ssangyong’s strong earnings were led by the brisk sales of its small-sized sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

According to Ssangyong, it sold a total of 155,844 vehicles in domestic and overseas markets last year, up 7.7 percent from a year earlier and the second-highest sales since 2002, when the company sold more than 160,000 units. Backed by the strong sales performance, the automaker reported 3.6 trillion won (3.2 billion U.S. dollars) in total sales revenue and 28 billion won (24.5 million dollars) in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT). Its 2016 net profits amounted to 58.1 billion won (50.9 million dollars). Ssangyong’s 2016 EBIT and net profits swung to the black for the first time in nine years.

Critical in Ssangyong ‘s turnaround was labor peace. Despite legal disputes over layoffs since 2010, Ssangyong’s labor and management have reached wage agreements without any strike.

Both sides say that the success of the Tivoli SUV gave them more confidence in unity for improved earnings. Ssangyong plans to put spurs to the strong sales, as it is set to release a large-sized premium SUV code-named Y400. The company expects to solidify its strong position in the local SUV market with its lineup of the Tivoli-Korando C-Y400 SUVs. “The company posted its first net profit in nine years last year as it successfully recovered its market share following the launch of the Tivoli SUV,” said Ssangyong CEO Choi Jong-sik. “Ssangyong will continue to make profit this year while again boosting its sales to a record high.”