Following Russian tycoon Nikolai Smolensky’s example, a Saudi Arabian prince plans to buy the struggling Ssangyong or, if that plan fails, Mitsubishi.

Following Russian tycoon Nikolai Smolensky’s example, a Saudi Arabian prince plans to buy the struggling Ssangyong or, if that plan fails, Mitsubishi.

Smolenski, the son of a Russian banker, bought the sports car manufacturer TVR for an undisclosed sum in July this year.

Ssangyong has been up for sale since the recent General Motors takeover of its parent company Daewoo. The Korean manufacturer is due to be taken over by the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation and its creditors have already signed a deal with the Chinese firm.

However, should this deal fall through, Prince Sultan Bin Bandar Al-Faisal has every intention of stepping in. Al-Faisal is preparing to deliver a letter of intent to Ssangyong’s creditors and has reportedly offered R3,25 billion for the company.

Should the bid fail, just-auto reported, the prince already has his eye set on another struggling Japanese manufacturer – Mitsubishi Motor Corporation – that has fallen into disfavour with parent company DaimlerChrysler recently.

"The buyout of Ssangyong Motor is the best option but if that deal fails, we are looking at ways to take over Japanese car companies such as Mitsubishi Motors Corp," one of Al-Faisal’s aides said.

The prince has also apparently been in contact with Nissan and Honda.