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Spyker Buys Saab, Considering New Products

Maker studying smaller 9-2; remains heavily dependent on GM.

by on Feb.23, 2010

Saab hopes to relaunch production of the 9-3 and new 9-5 in a few weeks, while launching the 9-4X crossover soon afterwards.

Dutch-based Spyker Cars has completed its once seemingly improbably bid to purchase the long-troubled Swedish automaker Saab Cars.

The deal, tenatively approved last month, saves Saab from the automotive rubbish heap.  Its long-time parent, General Motors, decided to abandon the brand prior to last year’s bankrupty reorganization, but after one proposed sale collapsed, GM began taking steps to close Saab until it a last-minute bid by Spyker, which until now has produced only a small number of high-priced sports cars.

Nonetheless, GM will retain strong ties to its former subsidiary, providing parts, powertrains and platforms for two critical models.  Longer-term, however, Saab may seek out other partners, said CEO Jan Ake Jonsson, as it moves to develop additional products, such as the next-generation 9-3 sedan.  Jonsson also revealed that the maker is considering an even smaller model that would be based on the entry-level Saab 9-2.

A Saab Story with a Happy Ending?

“As of today, our focus will be on getting back in business,” said Jonsson, speaking to reporters from Sweden during a Tuesday conference call.  He noted that as GM prepared to liquidate the brand, Saab could no longer get the parts it needed to keep its assembly lines going, despite demand for the all-new 2010 9-5 sedan.

Saving Saab involved “three months of working literally day and night,” noted Victor Muller, the one-time Dutch lawyer who decided to get into the automotive business.  In 1999, he introduced the first of several models bearing the Spyker nameplate, reviving a once-heralded Netherlands brand that had gone out of business in 1925.