SEOUL, Dec. 21 (Yonhap) – Financially troubled SsangYong Motor Co. on Monday filed for court receivership as it struggles with snowballing debts amid the COVID-19 pandemic, sources said.

The decision comes after SsangYong Motor, the South Korean unit of Indian carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., failed to pay 60 billion won (US$54.8 million) worth of debts to its three creditor banks last week.

The state-run Korea Development Bank, the main creditor of SsangYong, reportedly was scheduled to decide on whether to roll over 90 billion won in loans due Monday.

The SUV-focused carmaker logged operating losses in the past 15 consecutive quarters due to lack of new models and tougher competition with local rivals.

As a result, its vehicle sales fell 19 percent on-year to 96,763 units in the January-November period.

In 2011, Mahindra acquired a 70 percent stake in SsangYong Motor for 523 billion won and now holds a 74.65 percent stake in the carmaker.

Mahindra has said it does not have a plan to inject fresh capital into SsangYong and will give up its status as the biggest shareholder of the Korean unit if it finds a new investor.