Currently reading: Saab sale - full details
Saab Spyker Automobiles formed; details of $400m deal revealed
Autocar
News
2 mins read
26 January 2010

Saab has been bought by Spyker in a $400 million deal, subject to final detailed negotiations being completed in mid-February. The new company will be called Saab Spyker Automobiles.

Spyker will give parent company GM $74m (£47m) for Saab, with $50m paid on completion of the deal and the remaining $24m on 15 June. Spyker also confirmed it has extended a $150m credit line, plus taken additional loans to fund the deal.

A brief history of Saab

As part of the transaction, Spyker must also negotiate the acquisition of all the outstanding shares in Saab Great Britain Ltd, the UK distribution, marketing and sales company for Saab, from General Motors UK.

GM will retain $326m worth of shares in Saab, which will give it minimal voting power in the company's future, but allow it to share in potential future profits.

The deal is also subject to the European Investment Bank confirming a 400m euro (£349m) loan, which the Swedish government has agreed to guarantee.

Following the news, Spyker boss Victor Muller said: "We are very much looking forward to being part of the next chapter in Saab's history. The next task is for Saab to become profitable in its own right, and that's not an easy task. But it is one that I think can be achieved."

The new Saab 9-5 and Saab 9-3 ranges will be built at Saab's Trollhattan base, while agreement has been reached for the Saab 9-4X to be built at GM's Mexico factory. Spyker has confirmed that all IP copyright and other facilities are part of its purchase.

Prior to Saab's sale, its Trollhättan base was extensively reorganised, bringing production of new models in house and cutting costs to ensure the company could be profitable with sales of less than 100,000 units per year.

In addition, Saab managing director Jan Ake Jonsson, who joined Saab in 1973 and became MD in 2005, will return to his post with immediate effect.

As part of the deal, Spyker's chairman, Russian banker Vladimir Antonov, has sold his shares to an equity firm owned by Spyker CEO Victor Muller. GM had demanded this, fearing its IP property could be fed into the Russian car industry.

"Today's announcement is great news for Saab employees, dealers and suppliers, great news for millions of Saab customers and fans worldwide, and great news for GM," said John Smith, GM vice president for corporate planning and alliances.

"General Motors, Spyker Cars and the Swedish government worked very hard and creatively for a deal that would secure a sustainable future for this unique and iconic brand, and we're all happy for the positive outcome."

Saab has 3400 employees worldwide. GM put the company up for sale in January 2009, as the US firm restructured in the face of the financial crisis.

Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg pulled out of a deal to buy Saab in November, leading to GM announcing that it would start to wind Saab down. However, Spyker - along with other bidders - made last-gasp offers to save the company.

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andrepaul999 27 January 2010

Re: Saab sale confirmed

saaby wrote:
Also your miniscule knowledge of manufactuing margins means you wouldn't understand that the breakeven point for the new 9-5 is well BELOW the level of Saab sales as recently as 2007, when the then 9-5 was already 10 years old.

Ok i dont have a degree in economics but even a complete fool would know that Spyker are not going to be able to buy component parts and panels at the same price as the competitors(VAG,BMW,Lexus/toyota....) this will therefore mean that.........

1- The cars will be good but far too expensive for the real world/ marketplace

2- GM will carry on making the cars and sell them to Spyker, this wont appeal to the Saab anoraks as they never liked this in the first place, and you will end up with a car with components from a 1989 Astra merit.....

over to you buddy!

wheats 27 January 2010

Re: Saab sale confirmed

Complete waste of £47m, you would have more chance of getting your money back if you put a bet on Gordon Brown getting back in as the next Prime Minister.........

WooDz 27 January 2010

Re: Saab sale confirmed

Fact is SAAB has and always will be a niche player. it's about perception and whether the car, the product is worth the value. Some say the 9-3 should be a 13 grand car. that's nearly £5,000 less than a Ford Mondeo Edge? the 9-3 in comparison has independent multi-link suspension even the entry level car, All have a 6-speed gearbox incl. the automatic versions and Turbo engines across the range, oh and don't produce a petrol variant under 150hp. An equivalent Mondeo starts at £25,530 for a 145hp engine. So £23,000 for a SAAB sounds pretty good value for money. That's before we get onto exclusivity and premium class.

The New 9-5 is the start My guess is that SAAB are looking for a yearly production of around 60,000 vehicles. That's about where the 9-5 was before the financial crisis hit. The 9-4x, which nobody has driven should add a further 20,000 units with the weak link being the 9-3 which is looking to be replaced in the next 2 years. SAAB has usually sold around 80,000 9-3s in the past, a new version should achieve the same. So SAAB's break even point is 100,000 units pa with a projected 160,000 in the next 2 years. In that time the company is looking to drop that break even level to 90,000 units pa, given the potential for more profit.

Does that profit need to go on developing new expensive architectures or would the sensible idea be buy one from another manufacturer. It wouldn't even have to be GM. I could any of the leading companies or even a more leftfield approach and use Magna's new platform or the one developed by Lotus? What SAAB do with the suspension and powertrain will make the vehicle a SAAB as opposed to a Renault for an example.

SAAB's problem is either there's no money for a large company to buy the brand of there is no room in the stable. Look at VAG. where would SAAB fit in? Between VW and Audi? VW see there products more superior to SAAB? How about FIAT.... Ah SAAB's place is already covered by Alfa. Renault, Peugeot, Honda, Subaru, don't have the cash. They're too busy trying to keep their own business afloat.
This is what Viktor Muller is talking about. The Auto industry is in a very unnatural place at present and that is why a smaller car maker can purchase a larger company and make good synergies between the 2 companies.

Of course the whole business case could implode in on itself. However; one of GM's demands was to find a buy who had the financial stability to sustain SAAB for at least 10 years. Spyker cars has met that criteria so the consensus should be that SAAB will be around for at least a decade.


There will many who do not believe that SAAB might actually be successful, they will not go and drive the new cars and will continue to pre-judge them as just re-badged Vauxhalls. There will be those who are happy that SAAB has survived but the cars just don't appeal to them. There will also be those who are happy that SAAB will be around in the future so they may continue to stay loyal to the brand. Finally there will be those who have had there mind moved by all the media coverage and are once again reminded that there is an alternative to the usual suspects. A group of people who still want a car and not just a utensil to get them to work.

These are SAAB's customers. These are the people who might just pay to own something they will really enjoy driving everyday and smirk to themselves occasionally knowing they are driving something that's very practical and fun to drive but has more exclusivity than the boss who's driving a Porsche because they have to show they are part of the (I'm just as good as you) crowd.

SAAB are not out for world domination they just want to offer you something that you will never get for the top 10 largest manufacturers in the world.

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