Rebuilding Trust

In an interview at the auto show in Nacka, Victor Muller admitted there Saab made mistakes dealing with the press last week. “We failed last week, clearly. We have spent one year trying to build up trust and the confidence in the business. It will take time to repair this, but we’ll repair it.” Since last Wednesday, there have been serious concerns raised in comments here by the production stop– does Saab have enough money to last the year? Will sales rebound? How can we trust management now? Potential customers are left wondering if Saab is a viable company anymore. Any dealer can tell you one of the most common questions asked to them is whether the company will be around next year, making a sale all that much harder. While the SaabsUnited community knows that Saab has a sound business plan and willing partners ready to step up to the plate to provide bridge funding, the average consumer usually collects the worst snippets and pieces them together to create their own picture. Last week certainly didn’t help to change that view.

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Reuters: Saab owner warns of funding

Reuters earlier today reported the following:

The funding warning from Spyker came shortly after Saab struck a deal with one of its key suppliers, International Automotive Components Group (IAC), after being forced to stop output for a third day running due to payment disputes.

Unfortunately I became aware of this (thanks to a comment here) too late to confirm this with anyone at Saab.

The latest press release on Spyker’s web site is from Marc 30th and states:

Saab Automobile has sufficient means to meet its immediate liquidity needs from existing and available sources.

The Reuters article unfortunately does not mention any sources other than the annual report.

It seems to me that the press release dated March 30th contains newer information. But even were that the case, it doesn’t mean the situation is rosy. The annual report states there is a need for further funding. It remains to see just how acute the need for immediate funding is. The focus on Antonov is nothing new and is a poor indicator to figure out how severe the lack of positive cash flow really is.

Ironically, Saab is better than average at paying their bills(thanks Gatelaw)

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Fred sent a link to Joann Muller’s blog entry http://blogs.forbes.com/joannmuller/2011/04/01/saab-is-running-out-of-money-and-could-collapse/.

What John is missing, as GM and its federal backers know all too well, is that it takes an awful lot of capital to run a successful car company in a highly competitive, global market. This is a lesson Saab and Victor Muller are learning now.

Nobody said it would be easy.

Spyker Full Year 2010 Results Highlights

Financial Highlights 2010

• Full-year sales of € 819 million, Q4 sales of € 301 million

• EBIT (Operating Income) of € (loss of 140) million in 2010

•  Gain from bargain purchase of € 78 million resulting from acquisition Saab Automobile AB (‘Saab Automobile’) and Saab Great Britain Ltd Result from discontinued operations of € (loss of 60) million includes the losses of the Spyker Automotive business and the effects of the planned sale to CPP Global Holding Ltd

• Cash generated from operations amounts to € (loss of 115) million for 2010

 

Corporate and Operational Highlights 2010

• Sales continue to build momentum in several major markets (Sweden, US, UK) as independent Saab distribution network was re-established

• 31,696 cars sold (wholesale 2) in 2010 compared to 27,482 in 2009, an increase of 15%

• 11,448 cars sold (wholesale 2) in Q4 2010, up 129% compared to Q4 2009 and up 31% compared to Q3 2010

• 32,048 cars produced in 2010, compared to 20,905 in 2009, an increase of 53%

• Restart of production in Trollhättan with over 800 suppliers after seven weeks of total stand-still

• Production of 9-3 Convertible and 9-5 Sedan relocated to Trollhättan

• Concentration of all operational activities in Trollhättan, enabling more efficient operations and reduced costs

• Wholesale and retail financing agreements secured with major global financial players such as Banco Cetelem, Santander Consumer Bank and GMAC

• Key management appointments in several areas

• Successful global launch of the new Saab 9-5, with positive response from media and consumers alike Successful unveiling of the Saab 9-4X, Saab Automobile’s first ever cross-over vehicle-with equally positive response

• Introduction of new diesel engines program delivering class-leading low CO2 values for the 9-3 range

• Agreement with BMW for supply of gasoline engines for new 9-3, to be launched in Q4 2012

• Launch of partnership with American Axle Manufacturing (AAM) for development and marketing of Saab- developed electric all-wheel drive system

• Launch of the e-Power electric vehicle program in cooperation with external partners

• Establishment of a global, Saab-controlled sales network covering 51 countries and the launch of Direct Dealer concept for 9 European countries

• Sales network continued to expand with new importers in Portugal and Japan, re-establishing sales network in Canada and Australia and principle import agreement for the Chinese market.

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Reuters Article: Antonov wants in again *UPDATE*

As a follow up to the information about setting up a Swedish division of his Latvian bank Latvijas Krajbanka in Stockholm, Vladimir Antonov was interviewed by Reuters today and said he wants to get back into the Spyker group (as in the one that owns Saab, not the car division that he bought a month ago). Article after the break.

*UPDATE*: There’s a new opening on Spyker’s Supervisory Board as of Monday, food for thought.

SPYKER CARS N.V. ANNOUNCES CHANGE IN SUPERVISORY BOARD

Zeewolde, The Netherlands, 21 March 2011 – Today Spyker Cars N.V. (Spyker) announces the resignation of Mr. Pieter Heerema with immediate effect as member of the Supervisory Board of Spyker for personal reasons.

The Management and Supervisory Board thank Mr. Heerema for his contribution and anticipate that a new member will be proposed for appointment by Spyker’s shareholders’ meeting in the foreseeable future.

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TTELA on Spyker Cars’ Q3 report

From comments, it seems Spyker’s shareholders were expecting better results from the Spyker Cars 2010 Q3 financial report. A continued loss was expected, but maybe this is more than expected. The share price is down 11% on early trading.

TTELA have put together a report based on the conference call given in relation to the report. The following is the Googltrans:

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Loss for Saab owners

Dutch Spyker, owner of Saab Automobile, has made a loss before tax of EUR 50.1 million (470 million) for the third quarter.

During the same quarter in 2009 made the Spyker was a loss of 3.4 million. For the period 1 January to 30 September 2010 is the loss of 158.9 million euros.

Losses are expected as Spyker’s management to continue roll in 2010-2011, but in 2012 the company [expects to be] be profitable.

For the full year, Spyker expect a wholsale volume of 30000-35000 cars.

During the third quarter of 7430, Saab sold cars to customers. Compared with the second quarter is an increase of 34 percent.

But over the same quarter last year, this is down 10 percent.

Over the first nine months, it is much worse for Saab this year than last year. Until September, Saab’s total sales of 17 965 cars.

Both Saab’s President Victor Muller and Saab’s CEO Jan Ake Jonsson says that there are many challenges left for the company. But they stick to that plan is followed.

– We are on track and feel full of confidence,” says Jan Åke Jonsson at a telephone news conference.

He highlighted that sales will increase after the summer.

– September was 100 percent higher than August, “he says.

At the same time allows Jonsson that management believed that the recovery would be faster.

– We had hoped to recoup much of the volumes that we lost in the winding-up but now we see that it does not. We had some disruptions in the supply chain at the start affecting us and we had some delays in its product range, “he says.

Jonsson also points out that Saab is currently focusing not only on volume.

– Volume is not everything for us right now. It is important that we maintain discipline and sells the right way so that we can profit and get down break-even level, “he says.

Last year, Saab has sold 32 609 cars between January and September. This represents a decrease of 45 percent.

The rate of production at the plant are much higher now than in the third quarter of 2009. Saab has built 9777 cars compared with 2780 last year.

Spyker 10th Anniversary – Penultimate instalment

It seems like the folks who journeyed up into the Catskills for the Spyker 10th Anniversary drive really enjoyed themselves. I’m still getting emails with images and video on them, as I have been for most of the afternoon.

These are from Jeff P. He’s included a quick piece of video just to show some of the hardware in motion, but will have more video available after he’s had the chance for a quick edit.

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The video (still coming) is the amazing part, truly nuts driving with these people. Victor drove Rijk’s Grey C8 while Rijk drove his Lotus. The roads were incredible, the hospitality was first class, and the Saab people were great to meet and be around.

Rijk being a superstar architect is fun too. Very small world, one of my old professors/critics from school was actually there today. They treat each other like family. What an incredible guy, and his wife was sweet and giving of her time too.

I’ll get some raw footage up on vimeo or youtube to start, but I’d like to edit it all together.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2-xpJmRFm4

What a surreal experience. My ’01 9-3SE is a very tired puppy tonight, but it made the drive back to Manhattan just fine. I actually hit a deer on the way down and was still able to throw the car around in the afternoon. Just shows the car can pass the moose (deer) test and still keep on rolling.

Click.

Part 1 of the Spyker 10th Anniversary report is here.

Part 2 of the Spyker 10th Anniversary report is here.

Spyker 10th Anniversary – more reports

Following on from Darryl’s photos from today’s 10th Anniversary for Spyker, we have some more photos and a report from Meg H, who attended the day with her husband, Jeff.

Meg’s full catalog of photos is available here.

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In the beautiful Catskill Mountains of NY, the sky was a deep azure among the changing leaves of the hills for a background. The entrance of their drive waving Spyker Banners to welcome all. It was a visual feast of what the automotive world has to offer. From vintage cars like Jaguar, and Riley to the ultra modern sleek lines of Spyker and Lotus.

There were roughly 15 Saabs from all over New England and 4 9-5’s. The beautiful carbon grey 9-5 belonged to our host, and the glacier silver was Victor’s. He generously took his out with a young man to test drive that didn’t even look old enough to drive. The others were Darryl’s (New Salem Saab) and JMK’s. There was a black 900 with custom hand molded metal fenders, and a 9-3SS that had a run in with a deer on the way to this event (That was Jeff P, who’ll be supplying some photos and video later. The car’s OK, as is Jeff – SW).

What I can say about Victor is that he is a very down to earth, a man dedicated to both brands. He took the time out to mingle with everyone and talk cars. When Darryl told him about the 1967 96 with 650 original miles that will be at the Festival, he was astonished and suggested that when the rightful owner was ready that the car should go to the Saab Museum.

He was generous in taking the time to autograph whatever was offered such as a Spyker Owner Manual that was bought on Ebay by a well versed Spyker enthusiast and a poster Darryl gave me for The Fall Festival in 2 weeks. My husband asked him to sign his 1993 c900 Vert (that was his doing, not mine) and also suggested to the owner of the yellow C8 Spyder that Victor sign his car. Victor replied that he had never signed any of his cars before and was happy to do so much to the delight of the owner.

It was great meeting new people today, and also catching up with Darryl and Steve C. I also had the chance to meet a young man who works for Spyker and learn more about the logistics of the Spyker-Saab relationship and Spyker.

There was 90-minute ride through the countryside that Rijk planned. Unfortunately we opted out due to the 2hr drive to get home, not including time for traffic. All I can say is how lucky I am to belong to such a big family of people so dedicated to the brands of Saab and Spyker. The impression I got from Victor about SOC, that 2500 people would take the time to meet up in middle America and talk Saab, he still seemed amazed by the numbers.

Many thanks to our hosts Rijk and Margaret for providing their home to celebrate this day along with Saab.

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