If there's any company that's faced some ups and downs, surely it's Spyker. The Dutch coachbuilder originally started out in 1880 and shut down in 1926, laying dormant until resurfacing in 1999. Things were going alright until Spyker tried running its own F1 team (which as fellow niche European sports car manufacturers Caterham and Marussia could tell you, is not a good idea) then set its sights on Saab. Of course we all know how that turned out and nearly drove the company into bankruptcy.
Tucked in the middle of a very long business update press release, Spyker has confirmed that it will unveil a topless version of the B6 Venator Concept that we first saw in coupe form at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. A specific launch timeframe has not been given, other than the ultra-vague "later this year," but we'll bet our bottom dollar that the open-top B6 will show its face at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September.
Automotive News reports that Saab lost $107 million during the first quarter of 2011. The automaker says that it is unlikely to meet its 2011 production target of 80,000 units, which is hardly news when considering that the automaker can't even make vehicles right now. The automaker sold only 9,674 vehicles in the first quarter of this year.
Since it opened for business at the turn of the millennium, Spyker Cars has charted an unusual path. Essentially re-inagurating a brand no one had ever heard of in a country not exactly known for automobile production, the Dutch automaker then set about launching its own F1 team. That venture ended up failing, so Spyker pulled another surprise move when it bought Saab from General Motors. And now Spyker is selling its own luxury sportscar business to a British concern.
Spyker Cars has released an official statement confirming that it is in talks with BMW about future component sharing. The rumors surrounding this topic had initially suggested that BMW would lend Saab its Mini Countryman platform to underpin a smaller 9-2 model, but new reports indicate that the larger 9-3 could be the first to benefit from this partnership.
An accounting rule, among other things, is ostensibly to blame for Spyker posting a loss and having to declare negative shareholder equity with more liabilities than assets. According to Automotive News, the new owner of Saab had counted General Motor's $326 million in redeemable preference shares in the company as equity, not a liability. So with the company having just got its factory going in October and only having sold 10,500 cars in the first six months of this year, the hard numbers are a
What a long, strange trip it's been. Every thriller must have an endgame, although whether the guy gets the girl in the end or just plain "gets it" is often in doubt right until the final frame. This afternoon, after a most improbable and tortured saga, General Motors has finally agreed to sell Saab to Spyker Cars.
To paraphrase the once great weekend update anchor Chevy Chase, "Generalissimo Saab is still dead" and appears likely to stay that way. Bloomberg reports that Spyker is the last bidder standing to pick up the Swedish brand from General Motors, although Genii Capital and partner Bernie Eccelstone apparently haven't given up yet. At this point, according to the news service, Spyker is the only party in active talks with The General as the process of shutting down Saab has already begun. Genii hope
According to a press release quoted in Dow Jones Newswires, Stefan Lofven, head of Swedish trade union IF Metall, the board of Saab has voted today to liquidate the company. Simultaneously, General Motors has announced that it has hired AlixPartners to supervise the "orderly wind-down" of the marque.