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Saab green light from Spyker shareholders

AFP/The Local · 12 Feb 2010, 15:28

Published: 12 Feb 2010 15:28 GMT+01:00

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"The proposal to acquire Saab was accepted by the vast majority" at an extraordinary shareholders meeting held in Zeewolde in the central Netherlands, Spyker chief executive Victor Muller told journalists via a webcast.

"We held a vote and of the 8.4 million shares represented at the meeting, all of them voted in favour with the exception of 1,174 votes represented by the Association of Stock Owners, which abstained from voting."

Spyker and GM reached a deal last month for the sale of Saab for $74 million

in cash and about $326 million worth of redeemable preferred shares to be retained by the American giant.

Saab's future had been in doubt throughout 2009 as GM, going through bankruptcy, radically restructured its business and tried to sell off what it saw as non-core and unprofitable assets.

Story continues below…

Spyker, a minnow in the global auto industry, manufactured 21 cars in the first quarter of 2009 and sold 23. It has a workforce of about 90 assembly workers while Saab has 3,400 employees in Sweden alone.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

19:11 February 14, 2010 by Scotsaab
Excellent news. Let's hope the progress continues and Saab cars will eventually post a profit just as the separate Saab Aviation has just done.

Properly managed and away from US ownership a profit for the car manufacturer is at long last a possibility, although it will take some time.
12:59 February 15, 2010 by Venturisection
You really think things are going to go much better with Spyker? The group that dived head first into F1 Realising they couldn't afford it and jumped out again?

GM when all is said and done employs over 200,000 people and Saab makes up 2% of the total employment. They had to cut costs and a small car makers that makes next to no profit had to go. The papers and random ignorant people on the TV seemed to think GM should fund Saab. To what end? Why should American tax payers pay for Saab when the Swedish government won't do anything?

Some figures to mull over to get an idea of the scale of things:

Spyker sold 23 in first 1/4 so reasonable to asume 100 cars in 2009?

Saab sold 98000 cars in 2008

GM sold over 3 million in 2009

Ford produced over 5 million 2009

Without the buying power and leaverage of the big Parent company Saab's supplier costs are likely to increase dramatically. The cost of producing brand new platform and vehicle every 2 to 4 years is going to be hard to achieve so competition with the larger brands is goin to be hard.

You've got to ask yourself a question who buys Saab outside of Sweden? They have to dramatically increase their market share and sell more cars.

Let's not forget that Ford and GM bought Volvo and Saab as they were not profitable and ailing. Now they're being sold off as they are unprofitable. Too much expense, little focus on the rest of the world.

I doubt Spyker has thought this one through. I don't believe they know what they're jumping into and are just creating a big mess like how they entered formula 1. I'll be pleasantly surprised if they suceed maybe they'll have better luck with working with the Swedes than Ford or GM did.

O and managed by the US? You do realise the company has its own local management. No amaount of money from GM breathed life into Saab. Cross platforms cross engines cost reduction didn't seem to have much effect did it? Now they will have to develop the whole lot.... it's going to be a heck of a lot of money and they're going to need to sell a damn site more than 100,000 a year if they hope to survive.

I would've been more upbeat if Eccelstone's lot bought it or even the Swedes just not Spyker.
22:19 February 15, 2010 by Scotsaab

Lot of statistics - but what's the relevance? You can make figures do anything you want.

I do think Spyker Saab Automobile will make a difference, but neither you or I can predict what will happen in the long run. That's why you do what you do and I do what I do and the people at the core of this takeover do what they do. It's their problem.

Quoting who makes what and how big is pointless statistically - what matters is financing, market research and marketing a good product.

And who buys Saab outside Sweden? Most people. Saab's home market was never fantastic - overseas they did very well for many years before GM's takeover because they were a characterful, niche market and well-engineered car. Check your automotive history.

Let's hope some of that previous form will return.

I think the key among most of the bloggers here is positiveness - I'm so tired of the negativity displayed by some.

Let's just hope Saab pull through and those of us who have put our money where our mouths are in the past and bought Saabs will get another chance to do the same. Good luck Saab!
01:13 February 16, 2010 by Twiceshy
IF Saab gets back to its sales levels before the collapse in recent years (they're selling what, 3 or 4 times less than 2-3 years ago?), that will be amazing.

It will also be extremely hard to accomplish, which is why I would bet on Saab not making a profit and ending up bankrupt again. I hope I'm wrong.
20:50 February 16, 2010 by Scotsaab

If that's what you hope, why write in the negative?
22:24 February 17, 2010 by Twiceshy
Scotsaab what I hope and what I expect are two different things.
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