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Report: Spyker would preserve Saab product plans, could sell own supercars in select dealers

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Report: Spyker would preserve Saab product plans, could sell own supercars in select dealers

by Chris Paukert (RSS feed) on Dec 31st 2009 at 2:56PM

2006 Saab Aero-X Concept – click above for high-res gallery

In a far-reaching interview with AOL Autos this morning, Spyker Cars CEO Victor Muller revealed some interesting tidbits about his company's plan for Saab if they can successfully negotiate for its purchase from parent company General Motors.

In a product plan that sounds distinctly like those previously floated by Saab executives in Sweden, the Dutch supercar builder would have Saab rebuild its brand around the 9-3, new-for-2010 9-5, and the 9-4X crossover. An entry-level 9-1 model would not be a consideration, although Muller admits he'd still love to build a production version of 2006's celebrated Aero X concept (shown above). If Saab were to go that route, Spyker's experience in building low-volume supercars would clearly be an asset in bringing it to market.

In news that will surely be welcomed by Saab dealers and customers, Muller says Spyker has decided it would not pursue plans to winnow Saab's U.S. dealer network from 218 showrooms to 137. In fact, the Dutch businessman suggests that it would be reasonable to expect Spyker to sell its own cars within Saab showrooms in the future (they are presently distributed through Bentley and Lamborghini outlets). Down the road, Spyker's supercars could benefit from Saab's all-wheel drive expertise, among other things.

Naturally, all of this future product discussion will be moot if Spyker and its investors can't get GM to hand over the keys to the perennially embattled brand. A newly extended deadline for sales negotiations to be completed was set by GM on Wednesday, and we should know not long after January 7 what fate awaits the brand.

link:

http://www.autoblog.com/2009/12/31/report-spyker-would-preserve-saab-product-plans-could-sell-own/

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I liked the old 900 Turbo (that iconic black 3-door hatch), but I was never really a SAAB fan. The new 9-5, though, is such a beautiful car, and shows so much potential that it is a shame to kill this small, quirky brand. Here's hoping it all works out in the end for them.

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I would have done things differently. I'd have gone straight to financial investors, sell 75%-80% of the brand with GM keeping the remaining 20%-25%, and let management manage it their own way: turn it into GM's Subaru, so to speak.

But at this point I only hope for one of two things: that SAAB's business plan is executable (by GM or by someone else) or that the brand is allowed to die with some dignity.

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I would have done things differently. I'd have gone straight to financial investors, sell 75%-80% of the brand with GM keeping the remaining 20%-25%, and let management manage it their own way: turn it into GM's Subaru, so to speak.

But at this point I only hope for one of two things: that SAAB's business plan is executable (by GM or by someone else) or that the brand is allowed to die with some dignity.

The point is if GM does keep SAAB, it does not have to be a manufacturer with a full-fledged portfolio. 9-1, 9-3, 9-4x, 9-5 with a halo sports car is all it needs for survival and thriving. All these cars can be shared with other GM products when it comes to R&D. Some of SAAB's greentech will help GM and that is where GM is thinking twice for passing it on to Spyker or somebody else. I do not want to see the brand go waste after seeing GM's efforts in the new 9-5 and 9-4x. It needs a chance.

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It would be nice to see GM still hold a share and let Spyker take up most of the risk.

Have to say the Spyker I was in last fall was odd but fast. Fitting of the Saab nature. I felt like I was in some odd Hot Wheel.

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