New Saab models in the works, says Spyker CEO Victor Muller

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2010

To say that Spyker CEO Victor Muller is optimistic about the acquisition of Saab last month is an understatement. In fact, Muller has confirmed that the purchase was completed for $400 million, which he says is the "cost of a wind tunnel."

We'll know soon if Saab will have a successful revival, with its launch of a redesigned 9-5 sedan this summer, the arrival of the 9-4X crossover in 2011 and the debut of a new 9-3 in 2012.

These products were already in the pipeline and their development has been paid for. If it wasn't, Spyker would actually have had to invest at least 1 billion euros (about $1.36 billion) to develop these products.

In an interview at the Geneva Motor Show, Muller said that all these were delivered in a "nice package." Muller has his work cut out for him though.

Last year, Saab's global sales dropped 58% to 39,903. Saab produced just 20,791 cars last year. Nonetheless, Saab Automobile Managing Director Jan Ake Jonsson said he aims to produce 50,000 and 60,000 units in 2010 and to 120,000 units by 2012.

He predicted that in 2012, Saab will return to profit and that the factories that had closed would be running again by the end of March. Jonsson also said that inventories are low, with only 500 new cars in the US when it should be 5,000.

Jonsson added that he aims to repair Saab's network of 218 dealerships in the US and to retain most of those retailers. From Saab's 21,368 units sold in 2008, US sales dropped to 8,680 in 2009. Jonnson said that when you look at 2009 volumes, you'd assume that the network is "too large."

He said that the company seeks to grow volume to more normal levels. Jonsson will focus on encouraging dealers to inform loyal consumers that Saab is back. [via autonews]

Topics: saab, spyker, ceo

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