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Saab owner Spyker first-half losses soar

AFP · 27 Aug 2010, 11:46

Published: 27 Aug 2010 11:46 GMT+02:00

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Spyker suffered a net loss of €139 million ($175 million) in the six months to June as it took on the Saab business. The company reported a 2009 net loss of €22.9 million.

"I cannot reiterate enough that this does not mean anything from a financial point of view in terms of the operations of the company," CEO Victor Muller told a conference call.

The loss was within forecasts, Muller said, adding, "It is not surprising that a company that had just come out of liquidation and only produces 10,500 cars in half a year incurs a sizeable loss."

He continued, "We will not be profitable in the second half of the year either. We have been very consistent in our reporting that we anticipate profitability by 2012."

Spyker, which acquired Saab from US auto giant General Motors earlier this year, said the results reflected the burden of debt and other costs it had taken on with the acquisition. Even though its equity capital was now negative, to the tune of €126 million, there were no plans to raise fresh funds, officials said.

Story continues below…

Sales for the six months came to €243 million. It said Saab sold 10,500 cars in the first half, down from 24,300 in the same period in 2009, but hopes to sell 45,000 for all 2010, rising to 80,000 next year, returning to profit in 2012 when it aims to sell 120,000.

Spyker was a very small specialist luxury sports car maker before it bought Saab and had never been profitable since it was set up in 2000. In February, Spyker Cars paid $400 million for loss-making Saab, which General Motors was about to close.

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Your comments about this article

12:21 August 27, 2010 by Twiceshy
Don't worry Spyker, the Swedish taxpayer has your back. Keep sucking on that taxpayer teat.
12:32 August 27, 2010 by Just_Kidding
new SAAB 9-5 is out and it should sell well. it is good looking unlike previous SAABs.
02:35 August 28, 2010 by repat_xpat
The new 9-5 is great and will sell at first. All of the SAAB enthusiasts will flock to it. But then the masses will look at the Opel Insignia and the Buick Insignia and realize that these cars are exactly the same as the 9-5, but 10K less ($ or EUR). Sales will spike, then fall. SAAB has an up hill battle. This battle can not be one if the normal ops in Trollhattan is maintained. GM couldn't change the culture of unproductivity in Trollhattan, lets see how Spyker does.
17:40 August 28, 2010 by wenddiver
How about a nice SAAB commercial of somebody good looking, driving a SAAB convertible, with a beautiful background, meeting somebody of the opposite sex, who is also good looking and end with a dog wagging his tail.

Pretty complex stuff!!!, but millions of cars have been sold with just that formula. You might want to have one with a young debutant staring at a SAAB adoringly, like the Caddillac adds from the 1950s.

Difficult stuff, LOL.
18:57 August 28, 2010 by repat_xpat
Wenddiver, SAAB is a gay car in the US. They would need one where the driver was meeting someone of the same sex.
01:31 August 29, 2010 by d_s
@ repat_expat:

On your comment about the similarities between Saab 9-5 and Opel Insignia; I trust you have tried the both products.

Whatever the case - and whatever your motivation in writing what you did, what I find remarkable is how well SAAB managed to stick to its advanced soul during the GM years. I am no engineer, but it seems to be possible to construct a much better product using same parts.

There are however some other European car manufacturers who are suffering the effects of operating in the US market; I read a story about Volkswagen offering a model of Jetta in US with 2,5 liter engine that produces a grandiose HP of somewhere around 170 (if I remember correctly). What would you describe that? A conscious act of self-abasement - or even masochism? I fear that their reputation may suffer if this gets out around these parts.
07:12 August 30, 2010 by mkvgtired
@ d_s

Volkswagen does offer a 2.5 liter that produces ~180 hp I believe. It is naturally aspirated so it does not use a super charger or turbo charger to boost power. It is relatively fuel efficient for the size of the car. The old 2 liter engine produced roughly the same amount of power as this redesigned 2.5 (although the 2.5 is more fuel efficient). This is an old trick with the auto industry. Design a new engine but dont give it the software it needs to perform to its full potential. Then in a few years just change the software on the same exact engine and you can market the new "more powerful" Jetta. VW did this previously with the 1.8T engine (and others) sold in the US. It is just a little trick to extend the time they can sell an engine without redesigning it. Many reputable companies sell software that can solve this problem. My buddy "flashed" his 2.0T GTI and got ~60 hp and 100 lb/ft of torque (not sure the Newton meter equivalent).
13:28 August 30, 2010 by d_s
@ mkvgtired

Thank you for enlightening me. As I understood, VW has pressed the cars price down to increase their market share in the US. I am no expert on automotive industry, but I like cars and enjoy driving cars myself.

As I also quite like high performance (with lowest possible fuel consumption) and the latest technology in everything, I have not been very impressed of the US car industry. If this goes for the US consumers - meaning that the company is not competing with as good as product as possible - who am I to criticise. But I think there is definitely a difference in the European and US car market. Sometimes it feels that the US car maker honnestly believe that a consumer's idea of a product can be wholly constructed via marketing, and the pile of bolts that exists in the world outside someone's brains has nothing to do with it whatsoever.
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