SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) -- SsangYong Motor Co., the South Korean unit of Indian carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., said Monday it launched a downsized Tivoli SUV in Europe last week to help revive sales.
The 1.2-liter gasoline-powered Tivoli SUV hit the European markets last Wednesday as it strives to jump-start lackluster sales amid the coronavirus impact on the automobile industry.
The SUV-focused carmaker currently sells most of its models in Europe: the Tivoli models with a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine or a 1.6-liter diesel engine, the flagship G4 Rexton, Korando and Rexton Sports SUVs.
SsangYong has struggled with worsening performance since 2017.
In the January-March quarter, net losses deepened to 193.54 billion won (US$157 million) from 26.12 billion won in the year-ago period due to disrupted production by the COVID-19 outbreak and lack of new models.
Its vehicle sales from January to April plunged 33 percent to 30,952 units from 45,908 in the year-ago period.
In its own rescue measures, SsangYong suspended some welfare benefits for employees in September last year and cut some of their wages and bonuses in December.
Mahindra acquired a 70 percent stake in the carmaker in bankruptcy proceedings for 523 billion won as part of its globalization strategy.
Mahindra currently owns a 74.65 percent stake in SsangYong Motor after two rounds of rights issues worth 130 billion won since 2013.