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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 TheDetroitBureau.com 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.”

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Saab’s Chinese Deals Collapse

Terms complete takeover bid “unacceptable.”

by on Oct.24, 2011

Image By: Len Katz

The Chinese deal lined up by Saab CEO Victor Muller appears to have collapsed.

Even as it appears ready to tumble into complete collapse, Saab has rejected a bid by two erstwhile Chinese partners to completely take over the troubled Swedish company.

The decision comes months after Saab negotiated a less extensive alliance with China’s Pang Da and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus – that deal still tied up by Chinese regulators.

The decision to pull back from the Chinese comes at an especially awkward time for Saab.  An administrator last week indicated he would seek to have the carmaker’s court-protected financial reorganization terminated. With its headquarters factory closed and relatively little money available observers believe Saab could be a matter of days away from being forced into insolvency.

Ironically, that could make it possible for one or both of the Chinese companies to seek to purchase what would be left of Saab’s assets, according to several industry observers.

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The breakdown with Pang Da, China’s largest auto retailer, and carmaker Youngman Lotus came about because they had “failed to confirm their commitment” to the agreement announced over the summer and – more notably – had failed to provide desperately needed bridge funding, according to Swedish Auto, the parent of Saab.

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