Swedish Meatballs: Are Saab’s new caretakers at Spyker in trouble? Again?
Reuters is saying Spyker Cars NV may have been too optimistic on Saab's earlier sales goals. Shocking, I know. The global sales goal for Saab has been reduced to 45,000 this year, down from a previous target of 50,000. Spyker is now forecasting 2011 Saab sales at 80,000, down from 100,000 before, but it kept a long-term sales goal of 120,000 a year.
Not that the Saabistas want to hear this, but Spyker has never made a profit. Just last year, they lost $25.81 million, on sales of only $8.85 million. I’m no Bernie Madoff. But that doesn’t look very good. And now a report coming from Automobilwoche says Spyker has until the end of this week to file for bankruptcy or find new investors. And that’s not good news for the new products Saab needs to get into showrooms sooner than later.
For instance, BMW wanted to deliver engines for the Mexican-made 9-4X crossover and maybe the 9-3 compact. But that deal is stone cold now. And Spyker has been talking about launching a premium subcompact 9-2 model, and then enter it in the World Rally Championship. But before that can happen, the 9-2 needs to move beyond speculative concept drawings.
The big problem is that the cost of the 9-2 wasn't included in the turnaround plan Saab presented to its current investors and the Swedish government. So Saab needs to find another automaker that will supply a platform it can rebody.
Spyker was going to hook up with BMW’s next-gen Mini platform for its new 9-2 premium subcompact, but now Automotive News is saying Spyker head Victor Muller is chatting with three automakers (BMW included) for help with the 9-2.
Of course, being able to pay another automaker for the 9-2 platform may be a bit of sticking issue as Muller takes his Saab cap in hand.
Do you think Saab will remerge as a real global player again?
Do you think enough Canadians even want the Swedish brand to return to our shores?
[Sources: Automobilwoche, Automotive News, Reuters]