Spyker’s plan to buy Saab from General Motors will be finalised within a week, after the European Investment Bank gave the green light for a 400m euro (£348m) loan.
Spyker will pay GM just $75m (£48m) to buy the ailing Swedish carmaker and Saab Spyker will have to move into healthy profit in order to pay the EIB loan back by 2015.
GM will own $326m (£208m) in Saab Spyker shares, but the shares will not have voting rights, effectively making GM a ‘sleeping partner’ when it comes to the management of the new company.
Saab CEO Jan-Ake Jonsson and Spyker boss Victor Mueller attended a Spyker shareholder meeting today that gave approval for the takeover plan. After the meeting, Jonsson said that once the EIB loan had been approved, production of the new 9-5 should begin by the end of March. Later today the EIB approved the loan.
Jonsson said he expected sales production volumes in Sweden of 100-120,000 cars by the end of 2011. 2012 will see the launch of the new 9-3 range and Saab moving into serious profitability, according to the company business plan.
Mueller also revealed that the EIB loan has been approved to cover 50 per cent of the production costs of new vehicles that incorporate innovative advances in safety and environmental technology. Every three months an independent inspector will visit Saab’s Trollhatten HQ to monitor the use of the loan cash. It is thought the loan will be used to underpin development of the new 9-3 range, which will include a hatchback.
Jonsson said a medium term aim of Saab Spyker would be to build up co-operative projects with ‘the best partners in the industry’ who could supply cutting edge component technology, especially engine technology.
Plans for a new 9-1 model would exploit the trend for ‘high-end, smaller cars’ said Mueller. Although funding had not been secured for the project, Mueller said his ‘gut instinct’ was that Saab would succeed in launching the car.
Spyker’s own supercar models would be engineered at Trollhatten, said Mueller and he expected extensive use of the Saab parts bin in future Spyker models, including Saab’s Cross-Wheel drive 4x4 transmission.