Dutch sports car maker Spyker has appointed John Walton to be its chief commercial officer and head of its Americas unit. Walton, 53, used to be the U.S. boss at Aston Martin. Spyker, which bought Saab from General Motors Co., said that Walton will immediately take up the job and will report to CEO Victor Muller. When Walton was vice president of Aston Martin in North America, its sales increased from 200 cars in 2001 to more than 2,400 in 2007. This makes it the most successful market for the firm. Walton also significantly helped in the launch of the DB7 grand tourer, which helped Aston Martin to get back its fortunes. In a statement last Wednesday, Muller said that he met Walton at Aston Martin 16 years ago.
He said that when they had Spyker set up in 2000, he had wanted to get Walton to build the company. It was 1980 that Walton started his career with Ford. He then transferred to automotive suppliers Unipart and Rossion Automotive in various senior positions. He became a part of Aston Martin as its general manager, supervising parts and distribution before transferring to sales where he had numerous positions as the head of its global, North American, and Europe and Middle East sales.
Walton becomes a part of Spyker while trying to put the life back to the luxury sports car maker after the notorious failure of Muller's attempt for Saab to be profitable. Spyker paid $74 million in 2010 to acquire Saab from GM. Last December, Saab entered bankruptcy after experiencing cash problems when its sales failed to reach targets. Spyker, which sold just five cars last year, is counting on the success of luxury SUV, the D8 SSUV, which was seen at the 2006 Geneva auto show. Presently, the company is seeking 25 million euros so that the model could start production.