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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Saab CEO sees breakeven sales over 100,000 cars a year

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Saab CEO sees breakeven sales over 100,000 cars a year

March 2, 2010 14:31 CET

GENEVA (Reuters) – Swedish automaker Saab would have to sell more than 100,000 cars a year to break even and hopes to sell about half of that in 2010, CEO Jan Jonsson said on Tuesday.

Loss-making Saab was acquired last month from General Motors Co. by the money-losing Dutch luxury car maker Spyker Cars, which spent $400 million to buy the iconic Swedish brand and put it on an ambitious turnaround path.

Jonsson said at the Geneva auto show that 2010 would be "a success" for Saab if the company sold 50,000 to 55,000 vehicles.

Saab sold just under 40,000 cars in 2009, less than half of what it sold in 2008. Spyker CEO Victor Muller has said he wants to raise production to a level of 100,000 to 125,000 cars annually with a new sales and distribution strategy.

Saab's Jonsson also forecast positive cash flow by late 2011 or the start of 2012.

Neither Saab nor Spyker has made any money in the last decade, though Spyker's Muller has vowed the group will be profitable in 2012.

The acquisition by Spyker, which hung in the balance for months, is also backed by a 400 million euro loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Saab, which will be run as a standalone company separate from niche manufacturer Spyker, will focus on three to four models, including the 9-3 and the new 9-5.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100302/ANE/303029945/1265#ixzz0h25rrEVi

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