• Dec 20th 2009 at 9:10AM
  • 58
Spyker's motto, written on all of its cars in Latin, is "Nulla tenaci invia est via." Translation: "For the tenacious, no road is impassable." And so here the Dutch company is, tenaciously chasing Saab, announcing in a press release that they have submitted a renewed offer to General Motors that addresses what are said to be eleven sticking points that scuttled an earlier agreement.

To be clear, we don't know what each of those eleven issues are. According to a report in a Swedish paper (translated), GM's man-in-Europe, Nick Reilly, called off the sale Friday morning, citing intellectual property fears regarding Spyker's Russian backer, and the desire for GM's board to be decisive on the matter of what would become of Saab. Spyker's statement mentions the need to receive approval for a European Investment Bank loan by the end of the year, but says it has found a solution to that need. One wonders how it could possibly address its Russian support, from Vladimir Antonov's Conven Group, in a way that might make GM happy. Either way, we should know soon whether the new proposal works, as Spyker has set a deadline of 5pm Eastern on Monday as its drop-dead date.

On a side note, Norway's Bard Eker has begun to share his take on what prevented Koenigsegg's attempt to purchase Saab (translated). Two of his points were that GM had made Saab too difficult to extract from the parent company and that Koenigsegg couldn't get GM to set prices for Saab parts. As the deal looked increasingly likely to go through, Eker says that GM wanted more money. This, however, happened before Whitacre, Jr. took the helm and apparently before indecisiveness became so frowned up by The General's leaders.

In the meantime, the Swedish government is reportedly conferring with GM reps to see what else might be done to prevent Saab from flat-lining for good. Is this an attempt by Spyker and/or the Swedish government to save face, or does this proposal truly eviscerate previous sticking points and clear the way for a reborn Saab? We're not sure, but while you (re)buckle your seatbelts, be sure to read Spyker's complete statement after the jump. Thanks to everyone for the tips!

[Source: Spyker]



ZEEWOLDE, The Netherlands (20 December, 2009)
-Following the announcement on Friday that the intended sales terms of Saab Automobile AB between Spyker and General Motors (GM) could not be finalized, the Spyker leadership has submitted a renewed offer in the hopes of securing a future for Saab, its employees and the brand, despite the announcement that the winding down of Saab would begin.

Spyker CEO Victor R. Muller said today that an 11-point proposal had been submitted to GM, addressing each of the issues that arose during the due diligence process and that the renewed offer would remove each of the obstacles that were standing in the way of a swift transaction.

"We have made every effort to resolve the issues that were preventing the conclusion of this matter and we have asked GM and all other involved parties to seriously consider this offer," said Muller.

"We are very confident that our renewed offer will remove the impasse that was standing in the way of an agreement on Friday, and this would still allow us to conclude the deal prior to the expiry of the deadline originally set by GM of December 31st," said Muller.

"Despite our collective eleventh hour set-back, we are returning to the table with a renewed offer, that addresses every known issue brought to light during the initial negotiations and that has the full backing of the Saab Management. The new offer eliminates the need for an EIB loan approval prior to year end, for example, which will allow the deal to be concluded within GM's deadline. Our efforts are based on our passion for saving an iconic brand that we would be honoured to shepherd, and the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of loyal Saab employees, suppliers and dealers around the world. Some 1,500,000 Saabs are on the road today and their proud owners would no doubt welcome the survival of this phenomenal brand," he added.

In Spyker's view, the ownership of Saab by Spyker Cars would add a lot of value to both parties. For Spyker, Saab would bring a strong, global distribution network consisting of no less than 1100 dealers, state-of-the-art production facilities, a truly dedicated work force and solid engineering, sourcing and research & development capabilities. Likewise, Saab would receive the financial backing required to compete as a competitive global brand, along with an entrepreneurial leadership team sensitive to the uniqueness, heritage and individuality of the Saab brand. Throughout these negotiations, both Spyker and Saab leadership have proven that they share a mutual vision for just such a partnership.

"Our company motto is nulla tenaci invia est via - for the tenacious no road is impassable," said Muller, "And we intend to remain true to that throughout these negotiations as we bid to secure Saab’s future and revive the company."

The renewed Spyker offer is valid until 5pm (Eastern Standard Time) on Monday December 21, 2009.

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      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm going to say something that's probably not been on people's minds. Why isn't this the top of the line Buick? If Caddy is to be rwd and premium, why not make this a Buick and position it as the sport sedan of the lineup? Yes I know, to someone who is a Saab fan, this is a very enraging idea, but this looks to be a world class sedan. A lot of the tech in it is similar enough to other GM products that I would guess it's not impossible to build it along with other cars from a similar platform. The car looks so nice I think it's a pity not to produce it in some capacity.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Russian, Russian ... Americans has funny psychological problems. Americans are not able to do anything possitive - you are only be able to print money, making absurdal wars as last two in Iraq and Afghanistan (please say me what for ??? You killed more people then psychopata Husain), and paying absurdal money to stupid managers whithout any skills to manage anything. Please let Russian takover SAAB and lets check how they be doing. As for me any new owner be better then American one. SAAB is a magic brand but stupid Americans managers were not able to manage such corporation. Everything which SAAB needs is more Swedish in Swedish product, more new models, no connections with Opel and other GM stuff, and better marketing. If stupi GM managers folowed this way they could make a luxury brand and earned a lot of money. Any SAAB is much better that any German or Japaneese car. Eh .. in the past I lika Americans now I shame of you.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think many are overlooking a major item … Remember the bridge loans Germany provided to GM for Opel until they found a buyer? Sure GM paid it back… But they still upset the Germans when it was announced job cuts (possibly more than originally thought) were still coming. It seems quite possible that the government could have weighed heavily on the decision of Saab. Most of their future products are Opel derivatives. From the German perspective; how they could allow money to be pumped into a brand on the brink of financial death when a country with home of a “stronger” brand loaned them billions of dollars? Especially when the country is such a major player on the world stage? Just a thought….
        • 5 Years Ago
        the only thing derivative about SAAB and other vehicles like the Malibu, Cobalt, Cruze and the soon to release Suzuki Kizashi, is the epsilon chassis. from that point on, none of the cars mentioned are a like in any way except for the sharing of some small parts
        • 5 Years Ago
        Very good... Your analysis & best-guess may be the best I've read on this subject.

        I think you're spot-on when it comes to understanding how a small brand like SAAB can come to be so important from the standpoint of IP and geo-politics.

        Personally, I've thought that SAAB would be an interesting sister to MINI, given BMW's lack of economies in FF platforms/engines. Though SAAB often was thought of as being a corollary to BMW (at least the 3-series), I think, realistically, it was more of a VW/Audi (before Audi's recent rise) competitor. Could MINI not benefit from a sister sub-BMW brand in SAAB, with platform & components sharing?

        I also wondered about PSA (family-owned, possibly able to utilize 9-5 platform in an agreement w/GM, while also providing some platforms for future SAAB models, AND for entry into the U.S.) and Penske (more complicated but, with potential production from GM plants, as with 9-4x, could this have been packaged with Saturn distribution?)...

        Lots of what-ifs out there...
      • 5 Years Ago
      yes we americans were psyochopaths back in the 1980's for trying to stop you from invading afghanistan by giving osama bin-laden the power kick you out. other than that we are far less a psychopath than russians, especially you all were trying to control georgia through war.

      as for SAAB being in rushan hands, how can russia make a good car when your own car company GAZ can't make a good car no how? its the reason why everyone in russia buys anything but GAZ cars. so to put SAAB in russian hands would be, to borrow your phrase, make americans have a psychopathic problem to actually do such a crazy thing
      • 5 Years Ago
      Saab's not dead. It's pining for the fjords!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would really hate to see SAAB close out.... I'm rooting for a successful transfer.

      GM euthanizing brands that it originated itself is nearly justice IMO for all those years of negelect, abuse and mismanagement (T-1000 anyone? Plastic fantastic Ion? No, I didn't think so.. ) In fact GM should be *fined* for trying to pass off thinly badge-engineering Trailblazers and Subarus as legendary SAABs. GM closing SAAB is almost akin to murder.....
        • 5 Years Ago
        lol.... 'The SAAB Trailblazer, bjorn from jet-lag' .....or 'O, if only I could buy a Subaru with the ignition in the middle....'

        • 5 Years Ago
        More rewrighting of facts. The management team at Saab ASKED and BEGGED GM for a version of the trailblazer and Subs to try to boost some kind of interest in the brand. Saabs never had stellar sales before GM or after GM bought them. NEVER. GM never made money on SAAB and the only thing Saab can be grateful for is they were kept alive for this long.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh yeah, Caddy-V, surely Saab's management were so impressed with the a mediocre body-on-frame SUV that they begged GM to just allow them to slap a griffin badge on it. Riiiiight.

        I'm also sure they begged GM to allow them to rebadge their 9-3 as a Caddy BLS for the EU market. Get real. What VW did to Audi and GM to Saab are pretty telling of which corporation is more capable.

        And finally, let's put the myth about how GM saved Saab to rest once and for all. When GM bought Saab there were numerous other parties who wanted to buy it - incl. Fiat and Renault. GM just wanted to outdo Ford who had bought Jaguar just prior to that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Eker's comments pretty much sum up why the sale of SAAB hasn't gone through: SAAB's products are too ingrained parts-wise with the rest of GM's product lineup and by selling off the company and the ability to continue building those cars based on the upcoming product lines (all shared with current or soon to be released new models) would be like opening up the store-house to all your inside secrets. Plus, anything developed by SAAB would be owned by GM, and the sale of the company would likely mean losing the rights to use that development for free, which was I think one of the big sticking points against the sale of OPEL. If you look at the technology and where it is coming from for most of the new and upcoming cars, a large portion of the development work has come from the European arm of the company. It is no surprise then that the fat cats running the show would then see this as an opportunity (and feel justified in it) to charge a stupid amount of money for the transfer of that intellectual property. Add that to the fact that GM seems to still have a fear of any Russian involvement vs. selling the farm to the Chinese (a backwards philosophy if you ask me) and basically the sale of any assets is just an exercise in going through the motions.
      • 5 Years Ago
      New 9-5 will be a cadillac if saab dies...well thats GMs original plan....
      • 5 Years Ago
      ""stop living in your imaginary world, there is more than U.S.A.""

      You've obviously been drinking the Kraut Koolaid that perpetuates the myth of German auto technological superiority.

      Again, the facts as opposed to your Kraut fanboy fantasy: GM holds far more patents in advanced auto technology than Diamler. GM, up to the 2 years prior to the bankruptcy, spent far more on basic R&D than any European company.

      One minor example of GM's lead would be the engine block casting techniques and advanced plastics used on the first three generation Saturns. Diamler has never had the engineering depth, manufacturing know-how, or financial resources to attempt anything on this scale.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I've always liked Saab, but only enough to be my third or fourth choice when buying a car. Never quite made it to first choice.
      And let's not rewright history. Financially troubled and on the verge of liquidation, Saab approached GM in 89 and up until that point GM had no interest in buying them. Critics all were stunned with GM's decision wondering why anyone would buy them but at the time everyone was buying everything and anything. GM immedietly invested 100M on top of the 600M just to keep the lights on and make payroll. I hope some kind of a deal can be made to save Saab and the jobs but let's face it. They truly have been living on borrowed time since 89.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope things work out this time.
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