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Momma always told us not to bite off more than we could chew, but that may be exactly what Spyker has done with Saab. The small Dutch outfit – which had trouble supporting its own Formula One team a few years back – bought the Swedish automaker from General Motors, but has been running into some problems.

Suppliers forced Saab to halt production due to lack of payment a couple of weeks ago, and then again last week, reports indicating that the company owes over a million in unpaid bills. Spyker, for its part, tried to raise some funds by selling off its own automotive operations, but that didn't seem to quite do the trick. So in a new initiative, Spyker has announced plans to sell Saab's real estate property and then lease it back.

The initiative – which is still in the planning phase – ought to help Spyker and Saab raise free up some resources in order to fund continued production, but other steps, like convincing the Swedish government to help free up some loan monies, is also going to be necessary to the brand's survival.

[Source: Spyker | Image: Nikolay Doychinov/AFP/Getty]
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Zeewolde, The Netherlands, 11 April 2011 - Spyker Cars N.V. (Spyker) confirms that it is in discussion with a financial institution on the sale and lease back of Saab Automobile's real estate property. The outcome of the discussions is still uncertain and subject to the approval of the Swedish National Debt Office. It is expected that further announcements will be made shortly.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      why dont they just let the russian "mobster" invest his money already....He seems like his been wanting to invest his money in Saab since the get go..but authorities have been closing the doors on him...
      • 4 Years Ago
      This type of news also further cements the demise of the company. Who wants to buy a car from a company that might be gone in a month? Hell, I'd be nervous buying a Mitsubishi these days (will they really stay in North America?), imagine how I would feel buying a Saab.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...."

      Good luck, SAAB, we're rootin for ya!
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's all such a waste of time and money one wonders the original owners of Spyker didn't have an agenda that didn't include saving Saab in the first place.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @GT40fan 500 million EU money?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Such as?
      • 4 Years Ago
      How on Earth could GM sign off on the sale to Spyker if just slightly over a year in of ownership they are already tanking? Part of the sale did include a stake in the company for GM after all if I remember correctly?

      For Saabs and Spykers part I hope they reach out to those who wished to purchase the company before and see if they wish to invest. And yes I'm referring to another Sweedish Supercar maker that was about to sign papers but GM messed it up and he walked.

      Saab to me is the Kia of the luxury car market. They are on the bottom end of peoples choice's. But as we are seeing now with Kia a few years and a few good marketing choice's and they are now up there with the big boys and not looked at as a joke when mentioned.
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      We love our '06 9-5, and I was looking forward to a new 9-3 hatch, but I really don't think it's going to happen.


      • 4 Years Ago
      Or they could apply for a lot of credit cards like I used to do.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just stick a fork and be done with it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Uh oh, the old sell and lease back. A move of utter desperation.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sounds like a lot of people who were essentially calling me an idiot in the last article should eat their words.

      Needed more proof? Here it is. The writing is on the wall, guys.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Real estate leaseback is hardly a new idea, and has been known to free up money-- lots of money-- to the seller. Under the correct conditions, it's a very savvy way of doing business and freeing up fixed costs. Adidas is doing this with its American operation's expansive "campus" in Portland Oregon and they certainly aren't going anywhere.

      On to Saab specifically, I will step up and say that I was unaware of the cash burn that the new ownership group has had to endure-- as I said on another thread, their plan was fully funded through 2012. It now seems that that plan and its math hinged on some optimistic sales figures and did not factor in things like a still-soft economy and overcoming a lot of negative press (Yahoo, to use but one example, reported that Saab was shuttered -months- after the purchase from GM occurred-- this was how deep and pervasively battered Saab's image was). That cash appears to be largely gone now and the EIB loan guarantee has extremely restrictive rules as to how it can be used. Another bidder for Saab at the time, the American investment capital firm Merbanco (which is something of a turnaround specialist, and has experience in things automotive) has handled, mentioned that despite the fact that their bid was better than Spyker's, they were rebuffed largely-- they believe-- by the Swedish government because they were American-- in other words, GM's shoddy stewardship of Saab resulted in other North American firms getting shut out of the final bidding.

      I like Saab. I think they are extremely well-engineered, thoughtfully designed cars that are a genuine pleasure to drive. They also give a much-needed jolt of individuality to an occasionally staid marketplace-- Toyotas and Acuras are great, but just vanilla, and every meathead with a hint of money hightails it to the BMW dealer. I hope that they can survive. Their current products are terrific, and the ones in the pipeline are even better. They have my support, and I wish them nothing but the success they deserve.
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