In an industry where there’s always plenty of drama and intrigue, the saga of few companies have more resembled a soap opera than that of little Dutch automaker Spyker – whose Jonah-swallowing-the-whale acquisition of Saab nearly destroyed both companies.
While the remains of the Swedish maker have been sold off to a Japanese-Chinese consortium, Spyker CEO Victor Muller is planning what is being billed as a “global resurgence!” when the Dutch firm introduces the new B6 concept car at the Geneva Motor Show on March 5th.
“We’ll have some big news,” CEO Muller hinted during a recent conversation with TheDetroitBureau.com, “but you’ll just have to wait to find out more.”
So, what’s Spyker got planned? Well, were it not for the fact that Saab used the name, “Phoenix,” for its own concept car a few years back, that might have been a perfect badge for what Muller and company have in mind.
The company has, in fact, had multiple lives, starting out as an exclusive luxury car maker in the early days of the 20th Century before collapsing in 1926 and laying dormant for decades. Muller and several investor allies purchased the name and revived Spyker 15 years ago, the entrepreneur and wannabe carmaker launching a series of low-volume, exotic sports cars that, collectively, sold less than 100 a year.
Spyker was essentially sacrificed as Muller took aim at a bigger catch, purchasing Saab from General Motors just before the Swedish brand was tossed on the automotive rust heap. But the venture proved more than what Muller’s Swedish Automobiles, or SWAN, anticipated. Hit by a boycott by unpaid suppliers and told it couldn’t sell out to several interested Chinese partners, Saab formally collapsed in late 2011.
Muller had planned to sell off the smaller arm of the company but somehow he never completed the deal and now wants to revive Spyker, signaling plans in Geneva with the B6 concept – which will reportedly reveal the Dutch maker’s Porsche 911 fighter. But some sources caution that is off the mark. Muller hinted to TheDetroitBureau.com that he retains rights to the Phoenix concept, which was penned by well-respected stylist-for-hire Jason Castriotta.
Considering Spyker’s recent history, some sort of sports car does seem highly likely, however, lower-priced than the most recent Spyker offering, the C8 Aileron.
Considering the financial toll the Saab debacle took on Spyker and, in particular, Muller’s once well-funded bank account, it remains to be seen how much the company will have available to invest – though Muller has shown a knack for bringing in investors including Russian oligarchs.
He just may be hoping for an eventual payoff from the Saab venture, it turns out. He is moving ahead with another David-v-Goliath effort, a lawsuit he has launched against GM alleging the maker illegally blocked Saab’s efforts to create a viable business plan. Muller is seeking $3 billion though he has suggested he’d be open to negotiating a settlement.
GM continues to try to block the case from going to trial.
Tags: 2013 geneva motor show, Spyker, Swedish Automobiles, auto news, car news, paul a. eisenstein, paul eisenstein, saab news, saab spyker, spyker aileron, spyker b6 concept, spyker geneva, spyker news, thedetroitbureau, victor muller