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.
“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 has taken a number of big risks over the years, including not only the ill-fated acquisition of Saab – which was being abandoned by its prior parent General Motors. It didn’t fare much better with a Formula One team.
Following the 2012 sale of Saab assets, Muller tried to revive the moribund Spyker, unveiling a new concept sports car dubbed the V6 Venator. But despite ambitious plans, the project faltered and the new model was never put into production.
Indeed, by early this year, Spyker was having trouble paying its bills, eventually struggling even to cover the rent on its headquarters.
“Over the years we undertook some daring ventures that left their marks on the company, which in turn contributed to today’s demise,” Said Muller, in a statement.
Muller had hoped Spyker would find some much-needed cash by suing General Motors for $3 billion, claiming the U.S. maker had derailed its efforts to save Saab. GM had refused to allow Muller to line up a Chinese partner for the ailing Swedish carmaker, hastening its collapse. Ironically, what was left of Saab eventually was sold to a separate Chinese-based company, NEVS.
(In a double irony, that firm is also seeking protection as it struggles to raise cash to keep Saab from collapsing yet again.)
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Spyker’s lawsuit against GM was dismissed earlier this year, forcing the company to frantically search for other investors. It had hoped to line up new cash while it sought the equivalent of Chapter 11 protection. The latest development is the Dutch equivalent of Chapter 7, which means a liquidation of what little assets Spyker has left.
Despite what appears to be the end of the road, Muller pointed to Spyker’s motto, the Latin phrase, “Nulla Tenaci Invia est Via,” which translates as, “For the tenacious no road is impassible.”
In his prepared statement, the Dutch lawyer and entrepreneur said he intends to “pursue our goal to merge with a high performance electric aircraft manufacturer and develop revolutionary electric Spykers with disruptive sustainable technology.”
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