Spyker Cars NV's Saab Automobile has entered an agreement with Sweden's government to set up a venture to develop transmissions for the auto industry. Saab and Fouriertransform AB, the government’s venture-capital firm, will create a staff composed of about 50 engineers from Saab’s powertrain division, the companies recently said in a joint statement on Fouriertransform's Web site.
The companies said that the venture to be formed in 2011, will develop transmission systems like gearboxes, for Saab and other carmakers.
The new company will be called VICURA and will be based in Saab’s hometown of Trollhaettan. Saab CEO Jan-Aake Jonsson said that the venture will drive down the company's break-even point and improve operational efficiency as it works toward becoming a profitable, independent company.
Saab, which General Motors Co. sold to Netherlands-based Spyker in February 2010, aims to sell 30,000 to 35,000 cars this year.
It aims to be profitable and to sell 120,000 cars globally by 2012. Saab presently buys its manual gearboxes from GM and its automatic transmissions from Aisin AW, a unit of Aisin Seiko Co. [via autonews - sub. required]