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Spyker Emerges from Bankruptcy – Again

Company partnering with electric aircraft maker.

by on Jul.31, 2015

Spyker's B6 Venator concept still hadn't made the jump to production when it went bankrupt. Officials didn't mention it when Spyker announced its emergence.

Once again, the Dutch sports car manufacturer Spyker has emerged from bankruptcy, beating back a legal challenge from a key creditor.

Exactly what will happen next, however, is uncertain, as a statement by the boutique car company made no mention of the B6 Venator model it was working on when things appeared to come to a crashing halt late last year. Moving forward, however, Spyker says it is set to merge with a Portland, Oregon-based electric aircraft manufacturer, Volta Volare.

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“Spyker is back with a vengeance and we look forward to a bright future,” said Victor Muller, the company’s founder and CEO, who admitted going through “a very rough patch” since Spyker was forced to declare bankruptcy last December. (more…)

Spyker Declared Bankrupt

“Not the end,” insists CEO Muller.

by on Dec.18, 2014

Spyker CEO Victor Muller with the B6 Venator.

After failing to line up new funding, Dutch sports car manufacturer Spyker has been declared bankrupt and put into receivership.

It was the final shoe to drop for the company that attempted to revive Sweden’s Saab, only to have that operation also collapse in 2011, its assets sold off the following year to a Chinese consortium.

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“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end,” proclaimed Victor Muller, Spyker Automobielen BV founder and        CEO, quoting Winston Churchill. “I will relentlessly endeavor to resurrect Spyker as soon as practically possible.”

Founded in 2000, reviving a long-gone Dutch auto brand, Spyker attempted to create a line-up of expensive, limited-edition sports cars. But it tried to go mainstream with the 2009 acquisition of Saab, only to have that effort fail catastrophically. A shift back to the original Spyker brand didn’t fare much better.

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Spyker Averts Asset Auction – Still Faces Financial Trouble

But Dutch sports carmaker still has plenty of challenges ahead.

by on Jul.07, 2014

The Spyker B6 Venator concept still hasn't made the jump to production.

It’s been a tough few years for the Dutch sports carmaker Spyker, but the company and CEO Victor Muller may have gotten a much-needed reprieve.

For those who might not recall the name, Spyker was the little upstart that took a big gamble by purchasing Saab, the Swedish car brand parent General Motors was planning to shut down after its own 2009 bankruptcy. But that venture didn’t fare very well, Saab lasting less than two years under the new arrangement before going belly up.

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Muller and crew decided to re-focus their efforts on their exotic sports car business, showing off several concept vehicles intended to bring the company a place at the table alongside such competitors as Ferrari and Aston Martin. But financial problems have continued to plague Spyker and it looked like the company was going to have to auction off a significant chunk of its assets to satisfy Dutch tax authorities.

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Saab is Back in Business – Almost

New owner restarts Swedish assembly line for first time in two years.

by on Sep.20, 2013

The Saab assembly line in Trollhattan, Sweden has been idled for more than two years.

Shortly before its seemingly final collapse, struggling Swedish automaker Saab rolled out a striking concept vehicle it dubbed the Phoenix.  Despite generally positive reviews, the prototype wasn’t enough to save Saab from collapse, but now under new ownership, Saab is once again trying to rise from the ashes – and the Phoenix could be the long-term key.

For now, though, the new parent, National Electric Vehicle Vehicle Sweden, or NEVS, is focusing on building the old Saab 9-3 as it fires up the maker’s flagship Trollhattan assembly plant for the first time since April of 2011.

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Just two cars rolled down the line this week, and “We need to finalize a few remaining dialogues to build partnerships with suppliers (before a formal decision is made) to start production of Saab cars,” cautioned a statement from Mattias Bergman, the acting president of NEVS.  But the goal is to have a turbocharged version of the 9-3 back in production before year end.

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Spyker Prepping Launch of New B6 Venator

Still searching for production site.

by on Aug.22, 2013

Spyker CEO Victor Muller introduced the company's new convertible at Pebble Beach this year.

Dutch supercar maker Spyker is “moving forward” with plans to launch the new B6 Venator and the Spyder convertible version it unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last weekend. But the upcoming introduction could run into one small hitch: Spyker has yet to decide where it will build the new model.

The Dutch company, which barely survived a disastrous attempt to resurrect Sweden’s Saab, is counting on the Venator to put it back on the map as a small but viable manufacturer of extreme machines. The Venator is expected to become the relatively high-volume model in the Spyker line-up, though it will continue producing the more expensive Aileron, as well.

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But while development “has moved along very rapidly,” according to Spyker Chairman and CEO Victor Muller,” there are still a few snags.  Most significantly, the little carmaker has to decide where to build the car. Contrary to numerous media reports, Muller said Spyker has not chosen the Finnish-based Valmet, a specially manufacturer perhaps best known for producing versions of the Porsche Boxster. (more…)

Saab’s Last Sob: Judge Tosses $3 Bil Lawsuit Against GM

Appeal uncertain.

by on Jun.12, 2013

The end of the line for Saab.

A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit seeking $3 billion in damages from General Motors, accusing the U.S. giant of taking illegal steps that ultimately led to the failure of Swedish automaker Saab.

The suit was filed last August by Spyker cars, the Dutch firm that bought Saab from GM in 2010.  Spyker’s effort was soon revealed to be underfunded and it quickly went looking for outside investors, including several Chinese companies that were interested in taking a stake in Saab or perhaps taking over the failing Swedish maker. But GM blocked the sale by refusing to allow Saab to transfer its intellectual property to the Chinese.

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Saab’s only products, at the time, had been developed by GM and largely used the U.S. maker’s components.

“General Motors had a contractual right to approve or disapprove the proposed transaction,” declared U.S. District Court Judge Gershwin Drain, following a hearing in Detroit. “The court is going to grant a motion to dismiss the matter.”

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Three Former Saab Executives Face Fraud Charges

Ex-CEO among those under investigation.

by on May.21, 2013

Former Saab CEO Jan Ake Jonsson.

Three former Saab Automobile AB executives, including one-time CEO Jan Ake Jonsson, have been detained by Swedish authorities and could face charges involving tax and accounting fraud.

The unexpected development comes nearly 18 months after the long-struggling automaker filed for bankruptcy, most of its assets eventually sold to a Japanese-Chinese consortium. A $3 billion lawsuit filed by the Dutch company that purchased Saab from General Motors, meanwhile, has yet to be resolved.

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Ex-CEO Jonsson is one of three former executives who could face up to four years in prison based on the allegations raised in Vanersborg District Court which covers Saab’s former headquarters in Trollhattan, Sweden.

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Spyker Has Big Comeback Plans for B6 Venator

China, rather than US, could be its biggest market.

by on Mar.08, 2013

The Spyker B6 Venator concept.

One thing you can say about Victor Muller: he doesn’t give up easily.  “I am persistent,” says the Dutch entrepreneur as he catches his breath between interviews and meetings at the Geneva Motor Show.

Many thought Muller might call it quits on the auto industry after his effort to save the Swedish carmaker Saab collapsed in the waning days of 2011. At the time, it looked like he would also be forced to sell the tiny sports car company he had launched a decade earlier.

But while Saab collapsed – an issue that Muller continues to deal with in a $3 billion lawsuit he has filed against the maker’s former owner, General Motors – he wound up keeping Spyker and now hopes to bring it back to life with the introduction of the new B6 Venator. A concept version is on display at Geneva’s PALExpo convention center and generating a fair amount of interest.

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The B6 is a compact, mid-engine sports car that picks up on some of the aerospace-influenced design cues of earlier, often outlandish Spyker models, such as the Aileron.  That includes not just its propeller logo but an aircraft-like canopy that sweeps rearward to reduce drag, LED taillights that are designed to look like the afterburners of a fighter jet, and turbofan-style wheels. The aero theme carries over into the interior, where there’s an airplane-style ignition switch, a turned aluminum dash and jet-like gauges.

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Spyker to Signal Revival with B6 Concept Car

Dutch maker planning “resurgence” in wake of Saab disaster.

by on Feb.20, 2013

The Spyker B6 Concept will debut in Geneva.

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.

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“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.

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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.

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