Saab owner reports massive loss

Spyker Cars, the Dutch niche car maker that recently purchased Sweden's Saab, reported losses on Friday equating to almost four times its sales for 2009.

Spyker cars, which makes expensive sports cars but has never made a profit since it began operations in 2000, said it had reduced its annual loss slightly to €22.9 million ($30.6 million) from €23.8 million in 2008.

But this latest loss was more than three times the value of sales.

Sales in 2009 fell to €6.6 million from €7.8 million. The company sold 36 cars, one fewer than in 2008.

Chief executive Viktor Muller said that Spyker Cars had not received any help from the Dutch government at the height of the global economic crisis, remarking that the business had survived and that “the volume of sales was maintained and losses slightly reduced.”

During the economic downturn, even the high end of the auto market had been

affected, he said, remarking that “2009 was a difficult year.”

During the year, the company cut 44 jobs, about one third of the workforce of 135.

In February, Spyker Cars paid $400 million for loss-making Saab which US group General Motors was about to close.

On Wednesday, Muller said he intended to restore Saab to profit by 2012, raising annual production sixfold to 120,000 cars in 2012, employing an extra 500 workers and extending a Saab factory.

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