Victor Muller Of Spyker Cars Interviewed On Saab Future

Posted on 23. Feb, 2010 by in 2010-2019

Victor Muller of Spyker Cars has been recently interviewed on Saab’s future by Autocar in the U.K.

What made you want to rescue Saab?

It’s what I do for a living, though I’m a genuine car lover as well. Until I founded Spyker I was a pretty successful acquisitions lawyer and a financier. Some of the money I made, I managed to lose again on Spyker, though we now have an new direction for that company. But with Saab, I’m doing what I’m best at.

How will you know you’ve succeeded?

When Saab is profitable, and making the cars people want to buy. I estimate we’ll need a volume of around 100,000 cars, nearly all made in Trollhattan to pay for the infrastructure. The proceeds of every car we make over that will go straight to the bottom line.

What will the model range consist of?

We’ve got a new 9-5 ready to go, the 9-4X SUV is coming towards the end of the year. The 9-3 is our staple model, and still has life in it. And at the moment I’m driving a design for a new small car.

Are you playing a role in the design process?

Sure, I’m doing things with it every day. It’s going to be the coolest thing since the Mini. I carry renderings of the latest designs with me, and I talk to the Saab guys all the time. I want it to be influenced by the first Saab, in fact my codename for it is 92, like the first one. It uses the original teardrop shape; the aircraft with no wings. That’s where Saab cars came from.

When will it hit the market? Will your partner be GM?

Too early to say. I’ve been working full-time on the deal and that’s not done yet. We will need a partner, but it would be extraordinary to go announcing partnerships before you own the company. But I can tell you this is going to be a hyper-modern, super-cool car, every bit as iconic as the Fiat 500 or Mini or Beetle. Everyone’s going to want one, and it’s long overdue.

How have the Swedes taken the news?

People talk about cold, unemotional Swedes: I didn’t see any of that. They were overjoyed; you can see it on YouTube. We made our announcement on 26 January, and ever since the dealers have been referring to it as Independence Day.

How will you bring the customers back?

That’s the simplest job we have. I believe they’ll flock back in hordes. There are 1.5 million Saabs on the road, and 4.5 million people with recent Saab experience. I don’t actually need any new customers to do this; I just need my old customers back!

Who will own the company?

Saab will be a publicly listed company. I’ll control around 30 per cent, and there are other major shareholders that account for about another 30. The rest will be held by lots of other small shareholders who believe in what we’re doing.

Who will manage the Saab?

The future management is the one you already know. Jan Ake Jonsson is CEO of Saab Automobile NV. He’ll be back on the board within a week. He has lots of experience, and heads a great team.

Can Saab and Spyker live together?

Let’s get this straight: Spyker is not acquiring Saab. This is an acquisition by shareholders. Saab’s management won’t be Spyker’s management. However, it’s true that one big beneficiary of this deal will be Spyker, which will have a powerful new ally with crash facilities, a wind tunnel, 1100 dealers – stuff it could never have dreamt of. But above all, Saab will continue to be Saab, and we will be good shepherds.

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11 Responses to “Victor Muller Of Spyker Cars Interviewed On Saab Future”

  1. Kirby

    23. Feb, 2010

    This is one of my favorite comments from Victor Muller..

    “It’s going to be the coolest thing since the Mini. I carry renderings of the latest designs with me, and I talk to the Saab guys all the time. I want it to be influenced by the first Saab, in fact my codename for it is 92, like the first one. It uses the original teardrop shape; the aircraft with no wings. That’s where Saab cars came from.”

    I can’t wait to see the final creation.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Sten Helling

    23. Feb, 2010

    I hate to put a damper on this whole Saab/Spyker thing…..but I think this guy Muller must be smoking funny cigarettes!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Ryan

    23. Feb, 2010

    Sten,

    Hello, an honor to hear from you. What are your thoughts about the future of Saab & Spyker?

    R

    Reply to this comment
  4. Kirby

    23. Feb, 2010

    This is my favorite comment from Victor Muller…
    “It’s going to be the coolest thing since the Mini. I carry renderings of the latest designs with me, and I talk to the Saab guys all the time. I want it to be influenced by the first Saab, in fact my codename for it is 92, like the first one. It uses the original teardrop shape; the aircraft with no wings. That’s where Saab cars came from.”

    I can’t wait until that design comes to fruition.

    Reply to this comment
  5. LM Cunningham

    23. Feb, 2010

    Thank you for sharing this Ryan. The past year was so bleak for many iconic names and it’s wonderful to celebrate Saab. Mr. Muller did not get where he is by thinking small. Let’s all think positive and make positive happen. How refreshing for a CEO to be interested in customer retention and not just stock price.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Kirby

    23. Feb, 2010

    Hi Sten,
    I actually think Victor is a lot like many of us …an optimist who has the energy to make things happen and whose enthusiasm seems to be contagious and Voila!, things DO happen. Such is the case of this purchase of Saab which so many “nay sayers” doubted would happen. We need optimists. Their energy is a much nicer contagion than negative naysaying which can also become”self-fulfilling prophecy”. Respectfully submitted.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Sten Helling

    23. Feb, 2010

    All you have to do is read Muller’s answers to the questions in the interview above, again, and may be again, and you must come to the conclusion, where is this guy coming from?
    Optimism is always a good thing, particularly when it is based on some degree of realism, this whole project is just wishful thinking and will go no where, as I see it.
    I sincerely hope I am wrong.
    Ryan, you are doing a terrific job in collecting and sharing information on your site but you should refrain from making personal comments on car business/dealer matters where you, in my opinion, reflect limited insight.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Jasper

    23. Feb, 2010

    Ryan,

    I and many others greatly appreciate the way you have soldiered on and provide valuable information and insight during this difficult transition period for SAAB. I believe VM will largely succeed and SAAB will become a viable company again. I also appreciate the support that GM gave SAAB during the past twenty years (most modern auto factory in Europe, etc.). The 2006 SAAB 9-3 AERO GM built car I drive is an outstanding vehicle. A few years ago, during a storm, in the middle of the night I accidently drove into over 18 inches of water and it kept going. Truly, it is the brand that it “Too good to die”.
    r/ Jasper

    Reply to this comment
  9. saablover123

    23. Feb, 2010

    Reply to this comment
  10. Susan Fales

    24. Feb, 2010

    A very exciting time for SAAB lovers everywhere. I’m very impressed with the thoughts of Victor Mullen and am convinced that he will indeed be “a good sheperd.” I cannot wait to see what SAAB becomes under his direction, but I am positive it will be everything our beloved cars deserve. Thank you Ryan for your tireless effort of keeping us all informed as we hung on the edge of our seats during this last year. God Bless all those who have been instrumental in saving SAAB and all those who belong to the very special club of owners/past owners/admirers.

    Reply to this comment
  11. karen

    25. Feb, 2010

    maybe Antonov and Muller will be able to work together again now that the deal is done. seems likely, based on WSJ blog today by Corkery…

    Reply to this comment

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