In the beginning of the decade, before SsangYong got into really deep doo-doo, the Korean automaker began work on a hybrid control unit (HCU) with German engineering firm FEV. From 2004 to 2008, as the research continued, the South Korean government provided nearly half of the financial resources for the development of the technology. In 2005, as Ssangyong's stumbles began, Chinese automaker SAIC took a majority stake in the Korean company.
A year later, in 2006, SAIC saw the success SsangYong was having with the HCU and allegedly pressured SsangYong engineers to hand over the technology. And that, according to Korean state prosecutors, violated laws regarding the transfer of "homegrown technologies... without state permission." Since the Korean government paid for almost half of the tech, SAIC's rights to the HCU needed to be approved by the Korean government.
Seven indictments have been brought against SsangYong engineers, none of whom were financially compensated for revealing the HCU plans to SAIC. It appears to be a simple case of bullying. No action is planned against SAIC. Hat tip to Regular Man!
[Source: Korea Times | Image: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty]