Short interview with Victor Muller from Spyker

Victor Muller has done a short interview in the last few days with the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad.
It’s in the paper version only, but thankfully Albert has been kind enough to do a translation for us (and after a very long and hard day at work, too)
Many thanks, Albert, and please enjoy the reading.
Spyker-topman Muller: If this deal isn’t happening, Saab is finished.
Thursday, December 17, 2009 by Niek Schenk
Small sportscar builder must profit from Saab know how.
Stockholm. Victor Muller the top executive of Spyker, reveals to the AD for the first time his plans with Saab. “You must compare this with Lamborghini and Audi. They both belong to the VW-group and share a lot of things.”
Those two are the great examples, so he tells us from Stockholm, where he is negotiating with the GM and Saab top about the take-over.
Muller: “Saab and Spyker will remain independent companies, but Saab has a lot of technology from which Spyker can profit. They have for instance a formidable 4×4 technique, that we can use in our models. In this way there are a hundred things to share.”
Muller is furious about the allegation that with the take-over he would be after the 400 million Euros support that the EIB has promised.
“That is rubbish (he uses the word “apekool”, which is much stronger than rubbish), I never heard something more stupid before” he rumbles. That is a loan about which four government bodies have to decide. And the money may only be put in Saab. Spyker does not get a single penny of it.
Maarten van der Plas, author of the book “Spyker, een dollemansrit” made that allegation yesterday in an interview on the Dutch radio channel 1.
“That man has absolutely no sense of this at all”
Yet the Spyker top-executive can understand that there is great amazement over the fact that the tiny Spyker wants to take over the relatively big Saab.
“Those two companies compare to each other like a fly to an elephant. But Spyker can do this deal with ease, otherwise I would consider it at all. And otherwise the GM-top would not believe in it either. After all, it is not without reason that GM only wants to talk with us about the Saab takeover. Saab may be a thousand times bigger than Spyker, but we can profit from each other in a big way. That’s what we both believe.”
About the financing, nobody needs to worry, says Muller, who has the back up of the Russians bankers since a few years. “I always earned my money with strong deals, so that has to happen now too.”
According to Muller the false impression is made that it is very bad with Saab.
“I read that Saab has made a loss for over twenty years. What a nonsense. Almost nobody knows the exact figures of Saab, because the brand is heavily intertwined in the GM organization. I know those numbers now and Saab is not in such a bad situation. Yes, the last few years perhaps, thing didn’t go well. But that was also because Saab could hardly operate independently within the GM organization. Most Saabs were not even built in Sweden, but at Opel or Magna in other European countries. In the USA Saab could not even sell its own cars”
Muller could not tell whether the deal was almost closed.
“We are still dependent on government bodies that have to approve. But GM wants to cut the knot at the end of this month at the latest, that’s for sure. The pressure on this negotiations is extremely high. If this deal does not succeed, it is over with Saab.”
Well. If that’s what he said (the Opel bit) then that’s what he said.
Other than that, it’s really very good to hear from Mr Muller again and listen to some of his own thoughts about Saab.

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