Tag Archives: car maker

Spyker CEO, Victor Muller's Presentation At NAIAS – Recap

Posted on 12. Jan, 2010 by .

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Here’s a recap of the presentation by Spyker’s CEO, Victor Muller at the Automotive World Congress event today. This event took place at the NAIAS in Detroit which took place at 3:05pm as covered by the AFP.

Spyker has funds to buy Saab and GM is ‘considering’ offer: CEO

(AFP) – 43 minutes ago

DETROIT, Michigan — Spyker has the money to buy Saab and GM is “considering” its offer very seriously, the head of the Dutch sports car maker said Tuesday.

GM has begun the orderly wind down of Saab and the fate of the Swedish car maker seemed sealed last week when GM chief Ed Whitacre said the US auto giant had done everything it could to find a buyer but so far nobody had come up with the money.

But Victor Muller, founder and chief executive of Spyker Cars said the death knell had not yet rung.

“We have shown Mr. Whitacre the money,” said Victor Muller, founder and chief executive of Spyker Cars.

“We are absolutely definitely negotiating in good faith with GM to buy Saab,” Muller told a conference hosted by Automotive News in Detroit.

“They are considering offers very, very seriously.”

Muller said he is “not very concerned about all the steps that are being taken with the wind down” because they are consistent with the plan GM set forward after a deal to sell Saab to Swedish sportscar maker Koenigsegg.

General Motors announced on December 18 that it would wind down the brand which has barely turned a profit during two decades under GM ownership, but several groups have since made last-ditch bids for it.

They include Spyker, a group comprised of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone and Luxembourg investment firm Genii Capital, and a Swedish group fronted by the former chief executive of German truck manufacturer MAN and a former politician.

“If the sale of Saab doesn’t generate more than the wind down scenario costs, for them it’s clearly not attractive,” Muller said.

“So it was my job, our job, at Spyker to put forward a proposal that is attractive enough for them to reverse the position.”
[…]

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Saab Dealerships In U.S. Tell GM To "SAVE SAAB" Or Else

Posted on 11. Jan, 2010 by .

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The Wall Street Journal has recently published an article about the 218 Saab dealerships in the United States that are now sending their own message to GM.

The message from Saab dealerships to GM is to “Save Saab”, or else..

We knew that Saab owners were persistent in their efforts to save the car company from extinction, organizing protests in the U.S. and Europe and selling “Save Saab” stickers.

Here come the dealers.

GM has already hired AlixPartners, a restructuring firm, to begin winding down Saab, even as it considers offers to keep it alive.

In a letter sent last week to General Motors ’s general counsel and reviewed by Deal Journal , about 50 U.S. Saab dealers are lobbying GM to accept one of the bids reportedly on the table for the 60 year-old brand.

If Saab owners are trying to pull the Detroit automakers heart strings by emphasizing the emotional appeal of the Swedish car, the dealers are talking tough.

“Please take notice that General Motors shall be held accountable for any failure on its part to proceed in good faith and make a full and fair effort to sell the Saab brand,’’ writes Richard N. Sox, a Tallahassee lawyer, representing 51 of the nation’s approximately 200 Saab dealers.

Despite the company’s insistence that bidders have yet to come up with the requisite money for Saab, Sox says that bidders have met the purchase requirements.

“General Motors owes Saab dealers a duty of good faith and fair dealing in its efforts to market the Saab brand,’’ Sox writes. “As Saab dealers, our clients have relied upon General Motors to make a good faith effort to sell Saab, to enable the dealer body to continue in the business of selling and servicing Saab vehicles.”
[…]

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Swedish Govt Returns To GM HQ Next Week To Talk Saab

Posted on 07. Jan, 2010 by .

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Representatives from the Swedish Government will be arriving in Detroit on Saturday just prior to the NAIAS along with Saab and Volvo representatives to provide any remaining information the owners, GM & Ford respectivelyneed for the sale according to Reuters.

If I were the Swedish Government representative, I would prioritize Saab because it needs more care than Volvo’s non-dramatic sales process with Ford.

I hope all parties once and for all, get it done when they arrive in Detroit. I think all parties will be on the same physical location at the same time, so they best seal the deal.

Representatives from Sweden’s finance and industry ministries will meet in Detroit with Saab parent GM and Ford (F.N), currently in the process of selling its Swedish car unit Volvo Cars.

“As we understand it, GM has not closed the door to a sale (of Saab), even if the official line is a wind-down,” state secretary Joran Hagglund said.

“We want to make totally sure they (GM) have all the information they need.”

Dutch sports car maker Spyker Cars (SPYKR.AS), which wants to buy Saab, has said GM has set a deadline of Jan 7. for bids for the Swedish firm. [ID:nLDE603121]

Saab, which GM has controlled since 1989, posted a loss of $340 million in 2008 and is expected to have made a similar loss last year.

A deal with Swedish luxury car maker Koenigsegg to buy Saab fell through in late November and in December, GM said it would start winding down Saab’s operations though it would consider new bids for the firm.

Spyker’s CEO, Victor Muller, has said there are multiple parties still interested in buying Saab, which employs over 3,000 workers in Sweden.

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TTELA Provides Entire GM Press Conference Recap (Long)

Posted on 19. Dec, 2009 by .

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Trollhattan, Sweden’s TTELA provides the entire recap of the GM Press Conference that took place this morning where they indicated that are now planning on winding Saab down.

This is quite long.

Publicerad 18 december 2009 Uppdaterad 19 december 2009

GM:s presskonferens i sin helhet
TROLLHÄTTAN Här är presskonferensen med GM:s vice vd, John Smith, i sin helhet, tyvärr bara på engelska – vi försöker återkomma med en svensk version.

Here is the full length version of the press conference with GM Vice President John Smith compiled by TTELA on GM winding down the Saab brand. Different American, Brittish and Swedish journalists are asking the questions.

In the press release you said issues arose during due diligence. To be clear, that is due diligence that you performed on Spyker or the diligence that Spyker performed on Saab, and what kind of issues arose?

– If you read the press release carefully, what the language says, certain issues arose on both parties which we didn’t believed could be resolved at the time we had available to ourselves. And at this point frankly I’m not going to add very much meat on that set of bones. Everybody worked really hard and not with very much time for a transaction of this type. Everybody appreciate we have been sorting through potential investors for Saab for the better part of this calendar year – after identifying Saab as a brand that we would either sell or wind down back in February as a part of our viability plan. We’ve spent quite a bit of time then and now with one potential investor, Koenigsegg, and got very close, but in the end Koenigsegg discovered some issues they didn’t think they would overcome and elected to withdraw. When I say we didn’t have very much time basically from the middle last month to now to restart, if you will, an investor process in a incredible short period of time, and Spyker was the one candidate we thought there might be a chance to conclude on the due diligence on both sides. Both sides did it with a lot of hard work, lot of support by the way from the Swedish government, and in the end we couldn’t conclude. And at this point I’m not going to get more specific on the issues on either side.

Was there a problem getting a loan from the EIB?

– I would say we were still in discussions as of this morning with the European Investment Bank who were pitching in to the best degrees that we could. We did not as of this morning have that part of the deal done, so it would fair to say that was still an open point.

When was the discussion closed with Spyker?

– We formally closed things this morning, a short time ago, I don’t have the exact time. There were meetings this morning In Stockholm with the Swedish government and representatives from Spyker and General Motors.
[…]

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Koenigsegg Group Backs Out Of Saab Purchase From GM

Posted on 24. Nov, 2009 by .

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ttelasaab.jpg

Photo Credit: TTELA

Reuters, CNBC & the local, ABC News, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post all now report that the Koenigsegg group have backed out of the Saab purchase agreement with General Motors.

Here’s a quote from Christian Von Koenigsegg in the Wall Street Journal:

“We regret that after six months of intense and determined work we have come to the painful and difficult conclusion that we are unable to complete the acquisition of SAAB Automobile,” said Christian von Koenigsegg, founder of the Swedish carmaker.”

[…]

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The Swedish Press On The EIB Loan Approval Yesterday

Posted on 22. Oct, 2009 by .

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Here are two articles from Swedish Radio and The Local on the EIB Loan Approval yesterday.

Today endorsed European Investment Bank, EIB, Saab Automobile loan application. The decision is a stepping stone to the Swedish automaker to receive a loan of up to over four billion crowns.

It was a happy Christian von Koenigsegg that received the message.

– It is an important milestone in the shop, so it feels good.

What do you have convinced the Bank that this is something you can believe in?

– The overall picture, it’s business plan is, it’s Saab as a company, what they look like today and what future plans are.

After the EIB’s decision today opens the commission an audit to ensure that the loan does not conflict with state aid rules.

Christian Berggren, professor of Industrial Engineering at Linköping University, says there are many questions about Saab Automobile to get into a profitable business so that you can repay the loan.

– Based on the known facts about the automotive world and how it looks to rival firms so there must be something extraordinary in order to ensure credibility of this plan. Saab must have had wings again in any way, how can I say. If this works, then we rewrite the textbooks on the automotive and industrial economy of the automobile, for which there has been something that has not previously been possible.

According to Christian Berggren is the great danger that the bill for the loan goes to the Swedish taxpayers. And there are far better ways to support Swedish industry but to ensure that risky projects, he says.

But Christian von Koenigsegg says that taxpayers need not worry.

– Of course, Saab, and we do our best to make this to work, it is number one. Number two is that the Debt Office and thus the Swedish taxpayers have adequate security for its guarantee in the form of the securities Saab submits to the National Debt Office. In the end, there is collateral, but the main goal is to repay the money with a successful business.

[…]

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GM Secures Agreement to Unload Saab Unit

Posted on 18. Aug, 2009 by .

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The Wall Street Journal continues the news about GM securing the agreement with Koenigsegg to sell their Saab Automobile brand.

General Motors Co. has reached a binding agreement to sell its loss-making Saab Automobile AB unit to Swedish sports car maker Koenigsegg Group AB, though people familiar with the situation said a number of funding hurdles still need to be crossed.

The move, expected to be announced early Tuesday, comes two months after the companies signed a letter of intent, and will give Koenigsegg rights to produce the next generation of Saabs

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GM Signs Binding Deal To Sell Saab Auto To Koenigsegg

Posted on 18. Aug, 2009 by .

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Dow Jones now reports that GM signs a binding deal to sell Saab Automobile to Koenigsegg, and rights to sell next generation product such as the 2010 9-3x, NG 9-5 Sedan, 9-4x and 9-5 Wagon for free.

dow.jpg

GM Signs Binding Deal To Sell Saab Auto To Koenigsegg

General Motors Co. (GM) has reached a binding agreement to sell its loss- making Saab Automobile AB unit to Swedish sports car maker Koenigsegg Group AB, though people familiar with the situation said a number of funding hurdles still need to be crossed.

The move, expected to be announced early Tuesday, comes two months after the companies signed a letter of intent, and will give Koenigsegg rights to produce the next generation of Saabs for free.

A deal would tie up another loose end in GM’s global restructuring as it nears the sale of a majority stake in its core Opel and Vauxhall European assets.

While the purchase price is effectively zero, a disposal of Saab hinges on the Swedish government providing guarantees for loans from the European Investment bank, according to one person familiar with the deal. “The reality is the deal needs to clear a few more hurdles,” said the person.

Saab sought protection from creditors in February amid GM’s efforts to sell or spin off the unit. The U.S. company had hoped to complete a transaction in June, but is now targeting a September closing. Saab is one of four brands – alongside Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn – being sold or wound down by GM.

Saab’s creditors in June approved the auto maker’s proposal to pay 25% of about 10.5 billion Swedish kronor ($1.46 billion) in debts, including almost SEK10 billion owed to parent GM, and the rest to auto suppliers and the Swedish government.

GM and Saab declined to comment on the sale agreement, though Swedish media reports said it included a pact on the transfer of technology and services between Saab’s new owners and GM. Koenigsegg officials could not be reached.

Dagens Nyheter, a Swedish newspaper, said the deal’s terms would also see GM write off the money it used to support Saab earlier this year, and machinery and production equipment will be transferred to the new owners.

Saab last year sold fewer than 94,000 cars, down from about 125,000 vehicles in 2007. Its best-ever year was in 2006, when it sold 133,000 cars, making it a tiny player in the global auto industry.

-By Ian Edmondson and Sharon Terlep

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