2011 Saab 9-5 – Click above for high-res image gallery

After a Mullholland's worth of twists and turns, the sale of Saab Automobile AB to Spyker Cars is complete. The official transfer of ownership from General Motors to the Dutch supercar concern occurred earlier today, and now Saab will get down to the difficult business of becoming profitable.

According to Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker Cars, a man who is fast becoming something of a folk hero in Sweden:

"Through this acquisition we add approximately 15 euros per share in equity and 60 euros of assets. With a well funded business plan in place we are looking forward to working with Saab's management on the realization of that plan and bringing exciting new products to our customers. Real Saabs, Saab Saabs."

With a compelling new 9-5 waiting in the wings and a raft of vehicles (9-3X, 9-4) just around the bend, the Swedish automaker's short-term future looks bright, but even before those new products have run their course, the real battle for sustained profitability will begin, with Saab likely needing to partner with a larger automaker to share development costs for new models.

As it is, the rumormill has been rife with return-to-form scuttlebutt, including the return of a five-door hatchback bodystyle for the next-gen 9-3 and the possibility of a '50s-era teardrop-inspired 9-2 model that would seem to jibe with Muller's "Real Saab, Saab Saabs" comment. Will the promise of such models be enough to see the Griffin rise triumphantly from the ashes? If the build-up to the handover of the brand is any indication, Saab's revival effort is at least going to be one hell of a spectacle. Official statements from both Spyker and GM available after the jump.


Related Gallery2010 Saab 9-5

[Sources: Spyker Cars, General Motors]



PRESS RELEASE


SPYKER CARS FINALIZES THE PURCHASE OF SAAB

* Spyker Cars finalizes deal over the purchase of Saab Automobile
* Transfer of ownership has taken place
* Transaction signals the start of an exciting new era for Saab
* Saab and Spyker to operate under parent company Spyker Cars N.V.

TROLLHÄTAN, SWEDEN (23 February, 2010) - Spyker Cars N.V. today confirmed it has finalized the deal with General Motors Company to purchase Saab Automobile AB. The transfer of ownership took place at 16:30 on February 23. Going forward Saab Automobile and Spyker Cars will operate as sister companies under the umbrella of the Amsterdam Euronext listed parent company Spyker Cars N.V. (Ticker symbol:SPYKR). This transaction secures the future of Saab Automobile and signals the start of an exciting new era for the iconic brand.

Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker Cars NV said: "We are delighted - Saab's future is now secure." He continued: "From today we will be concentrating all of our efforts into reviving Saab and transforming it into a sustainable and profitable company with the confidence to be bold. We will reinforce the emotional experience between Saab drivers and their cars and we will focus on Saab's historical strengths in the fields of independent thinking, aircraft heritage, ecological performance and motorsport.

"Through this acquisition we add approximately 15 euros per share in equity and 60 euros of assets. With a well funded business plan in place we are looking forward to working with Saab's management on the realization of that plan and bringing exciting new products to our customers. Real Saabs, Saab Saabs"

Jan Åke Jonsson, CEO of Saab Automobile AB said: "Today's announcement is great for Saab's customers, dealers, suppliers and employees around the globe, the level of passion and support shown to Saab over recent months has been remarkable and this does bode well for the future. Now we aim to get back to the execution of our business plan, starting with the introduction of the new 9-5 later this year, and with the continued support of our employees and business partners I am confident we will succeed."

"This transaction represents the successful outcome of months of hard work and intense negotiations, all aimed at securing a sustainable future for this unique brand, and we are pleased with the positive outcome," said John Smith, GM vice president for corporate planning and alliances. "This is a great day for Saab employees, dealers and suppliers, and a great day for millions of Saab customers and fans worldwide."

-Ends-


Spyker Cars Finalizes Purchase of Saab Automobile from GM

2010-02-23

o Transfer of ownership and operations to Spyker Cars takes place
o Previously announced wind down of Saab operations ends
o A new era begins for an iconic auto brand

DETROIT – General Motors and Spyker Cars NV today announced that they have finalized the deal for Spyker to purchase Saab Automobile AB.

Going forward, Saab and Spyker will operate under the Spyker (AMS:SPYKR) umbrella, and Spyker will assume responsibility for Saab operations. The previously announced wind down of Saab operations has ended.

"This transaction represents the successful outcome of months of hard work and intense negotiations, all aimed at securing a sustainable future for this unique brand, and we are pleased with the positive outcome," said John Smith, GM vice president for corporate planning and alliances. "This is a great day for Saab employees, dealers and suppliers, and a great day for millions of Saab customers and fans worldwide."

"Throughout negotiations over the past year, GM has worked with many parties, including governments and investors, to find a solution for Saab," said Nick Reilly, president, GM Europe. "I'm very pleased that we could come to a positive conclusion, one that presents a viable future for Saab and preserves jobs in Sweden and elsewhere."

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