SEOUL, South Korea (CNN) -- Ssangyong Motor Company bought itself time to attempt a turnaround on Friday, receiving court approval for bankruptcy protection.
The company faces extensive challenges as a result of the global economic crisis, including slumping sales and the need to slash jobs, according to Yonhap, an official South Korean news agency.
Receivership "doesn't mean that it guarantees rehabilitation," the Seoul Central District Court said in a written statement on accepting Ssangyong's application. The automaker could lose protection from creditors at any time if the court finds Ssangyong falling short in its recovery efforts. That would lead to liquidation of the company.
Ssangyong has until June to present a restructuring plan, spokesman Chung Mu-young told Yonhap.
The automaker's per-capita productivity is only about one-third of Hyundai Motor Company's, the news agency reported. Ssangyong, South Korea's smallest automaker, employs 7,128 workers.
Ssangyong's sales plunged 82 percent in January to 1,644 units, Yonhap reported. The company has the capacity to produce 200,000 cars a year.
The automaker lost 28.2 billion won ($20.5 million) in the third quarter of last year, its fourth consecutive quarterly loss, according to the news agency. The company also forecast a loss of about 100 billion won ($72.7 million) for all of 2008.
Trading of the company's shares has been suspended since January 9, when it filed for bankruptcy.