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Spyker Files for Bankruptcy

Files for Chapter 11 restructuring even as former Saab subsidiary seeks extension in its bankruptcy.

by on Dec.02, 2014

Spyker CEO Victor Muller with the B6 Venator.

Dutch sports carmaker Spyker Automobielen has filed for the Dutch equivalent of bankruptcy and is seeking a voluntary financial restructuring.

The company has been struggling to turn itself around ever since its brief and abortive attempt to run Swedish-based Saab fell apart in 2011. Spyker says it “today filed a voluntary petition for financial restructuring in an effort to address certain short-term operational and liquidity challenges.”

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Ironically, the announcement was made just as the new owners of Saab sought an extension in their own bankruptcy filing in Sweden. National Electric Vehicle Sweden says it needs the extra time to work out a deal with a new investor that could keep operations at its Trollhattan assembly plant going. (more…)

Another Saab Story: New Owners Narrowly Sidestep New Bankruptcy.

National Electric Vehicle Sweden now seeking partners.

by on Aug.19, 2014

NEVS was able to restart the Saab plant for only a matter of months, producing about 6 cars daily.

It might seem like a comedy routine if it weren’t so deadly serious; the company that bought filed Swedish automaker Saab out of bankruptcy itself averted its own financial collapse this past week and is now frantically seeking a new partner to keep the operation going.

A Chinese-controlled coalition, National Electric Vehicle Sweden hasn’t produced a car at Saab’s Trollhattan plant since May and was being threatened by an unpaid supplier ready to force it into bankruptcy  – echoing what happened to the Dutch firm that previously tried to rescue Saab.

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“The company does not have enough liquid cash today to pay all outstanding debt, but NEVS’ assets are larger than its debt,” the new Saab owner confirmed in a statement. “NEVS cannot say exactly when, but NEVS’ suppliers will get paid.”


Spyker Has Big Plans – in China

The rise of the Phoenix?

by on Aug.27, 2012

The Spyker D8 P2P concept - photo courtesy Autoblog.

Even as it moves ahead with a court suit seeking $3 billion from General Motors, Dutch-based Spyker Cars sees a bright future – in China.

Spyker – which ultimately lost its bid to save the struggling Swedish carmaker, Saab – is firming up its ties with China’s Zhejiang Lotus Youngman.  Youngman was one of several Chinese automakers that had hoped to partner with Saab before it was forced to liquidate late last year.

If it’s difficult to keep up with all the players, here’s the scorecard:

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Spyker was a small Dutch supercar company run by entrepreneur Victor Muller.  In a bold – some would say ill-conceived – move, Spyker purchased Saab from General Motors in early 2010.  But the bid was severely underfunded and by March 2011, Saab’s unpaid suppliers began to boycott the firm.  That triggered a shutdown of the maker’s Trollhattan assembly plant and a cascading series of setbacks.


Spyker Sues GM for $3 Billion

Claims maker blocked deals that would have saved Saab.

by on Aug.06, 2012

GM effectively forced Saab to liquidate when it refused to sell intellectual property for vehicles like the 9-5 sedan to a new owner.

This story has been updated to reflect GM’s comments on the Spyker lawsuit.

General Motors is facing a $3 billion lawsuit filed by the small Dutch sports car manufacturer Spyker Cars NV – which claims the U.S. maker improperly blocked its efforts to save Sweden’s now-bankrupt Saab Automobile.

Spyker purchased Saab in early 2010 from General Motors after the American carmaker decided to sell or shutter the struggling Swedish company.  But it quickly became apparent that Spyker didn’t have the cash needed to see the venture through.  It made a series of attempts to save or sell Saab, but was forced to liquidate the firm last year.

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Spyker – which briefly changed its name to Swedish Cars, says GM blocked its rescue effort to avoid the possibility of facing additional competition in China – where General Motors is the largest manufacturer.

“We tirelessly worked to save Saab Automobile until GM destroyed those efforts and deliberately drove Saab Automobile into bankruptcy,” says Spyker CEO Victor Muller.  The Dutch entrepreneur insists, “We owe it to our stakeholders and ourselves that justice is done.”


Saab Leaving Most Debts Unpaid

Only a select few likely to get cash back.

by on Apr.12, 2012

Among the assets of the now insolvent Saab: the Phoenix Concept car, (Photo by Len Katz).

The factory in Trollhattan stands idle but the bookkeepers and bankruptcy attorneys have been keeping busy in recent weeks trying to tally up the debts owed by the now-insolvent Saab Automobile and compare that to the company’s few remaining assets.

The math doesn’t work out well for those Saab owed money to.  The final balance sheet shows assets of $532 million (3.6 billion Swedish kronor) but debts of $1.9 billion (13 billion kronor).  It is possible that the tally will look more favorable, however, if the trustees overseeing Saab’s bankruptcy are able to find a buyer – with as many as seven bidders reportedly looking closely at the company.

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Nonetheless, the bottom line isn’t a good one: a lot of folks looking to recover money from the doomed maker are likely to wind up with nothing.  Among those least likely to come out whole are Saab’s Swedish employees.  They actually pressed for the bankruptcy filing in hopes of recovering months of back pay.  Those workers are owed $89 million.


Spyker Strikes Back

Freed of Saab, Muller reviving exotic sports car brand.

by on Mar.08, 2012

Victor Muller inside one of his Spyker exotics.

“I’m a reborn man,” proclaims Victor Muller, as he wanders the PALExpo Convention Center during the first press day at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

A year ago, the Dutch entrepreneur was at the annual event pulling the covers off the Saab Phoenix concept car – and hoping to line up financial support to keep that struggling Swedish carmaker in business.  Now Saab is dead, Muller severing all ties and turning it over to the bankruptcy courts.

But while some folks might have taken that as a cue to vanish from the automotive headlights, not Muller, who could be found drifting through the sprawling conference center saying hello to old friends and giving the inside scoop on life post-Saab.

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The most significant news? The ever-upbeat Muller has decided to scrub plans to sell off his other automotive company, the Dutch-based Spyker Cars.

“I’m excited to get back into this business,” he says, explaining that he has largely worked through the “huge liabilities” he incurred during what he calls “the Saab era.”


Saab Museum Emptied – But Brand May Yet Survive

The Ursaab goes on the auction block.

by on Jan.20, 2012

The original 1947 Saab concept, known as the Ursaab, drives off into the sunset.

The process of dismantling bankrupt Saab is well underway and the remains of the Swedish maker’s museum will be sold off, starting today, with 100 vehicles from Saab’s collection – including the original concept known as the Ursaab – going on the auction block.

Yet, even as the symbols of the maker’s 60-year history begin to disappear there still remains a chance that Saab could again rise like a phoenix – the name the maker chose for one of its museum pieces, the Phoenix concept vehicle it rolled out during the 2011 auto show season.

Two active bidders are still hoping to buy up the Swedish company’s assets and put it back into business, including China’s Zhejiang Youngman Lotus and Turkish Brightwell Holdings.

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“A bid for Saab is in the pipeline”, said Brightwell board member Zamier Ahmed, on Thursday.  The firm, which specializes in energy, transportation and technology, would like to not only buy up the failed maker’s assets but keep Saab based in Sweden, its Trollhattan assembly plant considered one of Europe’s most modern.


Turkish, Indian Automakes Studying Saab Rescue

“Something could happen this month,” says Saab source.

by on Jan.02, 2012

At least two potential buyers are reportedly looking to take over bankrupt Saab.

Could it really turn out to be a “Happy New Year” for Saab?  Barely two weeks after finally filing for bankruptcy, a move most had expected would result in the liquidation of the long-struggling Swedish automaker, Saab could find salvation in the form of investors from either Turkey or India, industry insiders and company officials reveal.

A report out of Europe suggests an unidentified Turkish entity – which apparently has the support of that country’s government – is interested in purchasing Saab’s assets.  So is Mahindra & Mahindra, one of the two largest Indian national automotive companies.

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Details remain sketchy, but a senior Saab official tells that “something could happen this month.” In fact, he added, a revival of the now-bankrupt automaker would have to be put in place this month or the bankruptcy process might make it impossible to put all the pieces back together again.


Saab USA Studying Ways to Rescue Warranties

China’s Pang Da abandons plan to buy bankrupt Swedish brand.

by on Dec.21, 2011

Saab USA hopes to resume warranty coverage.

Saab officials are looking for a way to resume warranty coverage for customers who purchased the maker’s 2010 and ’11 products.

The maker announced yesterday it would be forced to suspend coverage for those who bought a Saab after the company was purchased from General Motors in early 2010. The Swedish maker declared bankruptcy on Monday after months of efforts to find a buyer who could save the cash-short company.

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Separately, the Chinese dealer group Pang Da announced on Wednesday that it had abandoned its efforts to purchase Saab.  Pang Da and the Chinese automaker Zhejiang Youngman Lotus had both proposed a rescue plan – but the proposed deal was vetoed by Saab’s former parent, GM refusing to allow its intellectual property to be transferred to the Chinese.

“We’re committed to develop a way to handle warranties for all owners of 2010 and 2011 Saab models,” Tim Colbeck, CEO of Saab Cars USA, told today.  The goal is to “reinstate (warranty coverage) as quickly as we can.”


Saab “Suspending” U.S. Warranties

Maker waiting for guidance from bankruptcy trustees.

by on Dec.20, 2011

Owners of Saab vehicles, including the 9-4X crossover, have been put on ice.

Saab owners had better keep their fingers crossed they don’t need warranty service or repairs – at least not for the time being.

In the wake of the parent company’s decision to file for bankruptcy in Sweden this week the maker’s U.S. subsidiary has said it will not honor warranty claims – at least not for the moment, pending advice on how to proceed from Saab’s Swedish bankruptcy trustees.

Meanwhile, a well-placed Saab corporate source, asking not to be identified, claimed that one of the reasons for the company’s ongoing financial problems was the fact that General Motors had so far failed to reimburse the company for warranty repairs on vehicles sold while Saab was still a GM subsidiary.

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For the moment, “All warranty coverage (no matter when the vehicle was produced or sold) is now being suspended until we have further direction from the (bankruptcy) trustees,” Saab USA spokesperson Michele Tinson told