Tuesday Snippets: JÅJ and VM talk product

While we’ve been talking a lot about Jan Åke’s retirement, Vladimir’s intent to invest in the company, and how certain members of the Swedish press feels that Victor is the antichrist, we may have lost sight of what really matters– the cars. Consummate professionals that they are, Victor and Jan Åke continue to talk to the responsible members of the press about the business plan. They confirm things we already know, but also leak new details about the ePower lineup, partnerships, and drivetrains. Also I take a stab at playing angel’s advocate to Robert Collin and Co.’s devil’s advocate and speculate on another outcome that isn’t often discussed here– the ramifications of Saab’s success on production and partnerships (something I hope we’ll be able to do a lot more of soon).

As you can also see, I’m incoporating an introductory graphic as a quick visual representation of what’s covered so you can get an idea what you’re in for…

Read moreTuesday Snippets: JÅJ and VM talk product

Robert Collin wants Swedish youths to peel bananas

JÅJ’s recent announcement has naturally caused quite a stir in our community. My soapbox is small, but I will deploy it nonetheless.

Certain stories have surfaced in the Swedish press, and many have been discussed in comments.

This calls for a summary.

First of all, there was a TV interview (TV4) which didn’t come up with anything really new. They like to remind us that Saab has never earned any money (despite what people close to Saab may say) and people who buy Saabs are like cult-members who only buy them to support the factory. Oh, and Robert Collin again claimed JÅJ and VM had a shaky relationship based on a raised eyebrow and supposed eye roll during a dinner last Fall. Robert already predicted the 9-5 would not sell over a year ago. Now we are told it won’t sell because JÅJ is leaving Saab. And of course, it’s still too big. It strikes me as funny how my MY11 9-5 isn’t too big, but I guess I got one of the few good ones?

Also present at that fateful dinner was our own Swade. Swade writes:

Well, I was at the same dinner and I can tell you that I have no recollection at all of VM leaving significantly early at all. (…)Well, I was at the same dinner and I can tell you that I have no recollection at all of VM leaving significantly early at all. The fact that he might have wanted to get back a little earlier might have had something to do with his recovery from some surgery he had not long before.(…)So to anyone who wants to take the opportunity to give Victor a backhander, I say there are two sides to every story and you ought to make sure you get both.

The same event. Two different accounts. Who do you trust more?

As for Robert’s “cult” reference– it’s unfair and uncalled for. Personally, I bought my first Saab as late as 2008. The 9-3 SC was then the safest car in its class according to folksam.se. Granted, the following year Folksam reduced the 9-3’s rating, giving it the same score as other European brands, but it still remains one of very few models that have been tested for moose impacts. I drive a lot through moose infested areas, and I need this extra safety. I also require Saab’s excellent winter skills. Saabs usually win when magazines compare cars in the winter. The 9-5 that I bought last year is no exception. I drive 720 km every week on some of the worst winter roads imaginable. I know from experience that a Volvo V50 can’t cope properly with such conditions. Saab 9-3, 9000 and 9-5 on the other hand can. With ease. The “too big” 9-5 is extremely comfy, and it is difficult not to smile as I’m able to dig through parts of the road that seems to stump others.

In short, TV4’s coverage painted a very bleak picture of Saab. It would not surprise me if Saab eventually drowns because of the Swedish press alone. It is no longer a question about them being right or not, it is a question of why they so desperately want to bury the company with its thousands of jobs and likely the entire city of Trollhättan. Swedish people should feel upset with their one sided journalists, because otherwise… perhaps Swedish youths peeling bananas in Norway is the answer? Does that sound like a fun and interesting job? Is that really an improvement over working for the evil entrepreneur Victor Muller? At least he’s trying to create something of value.

Saab of North Olmsted opens its (new) doors

Saab of North Olmsted has just opened their new building – the first new Saab Unlimited building to open since the company was purchased by Spyker Cars.

In honour of a deal made with Dealer Principal Bernie Moreno at the Saab Owner’s Convention last year (“you build it and I’ll come to the opening”), Victor Muller flew in to Ohio from Europe to attend the opening function.

Our mate Ted Y was there and he’s uploaded the following video from the event:



Here’s the exterior of the new building, from the dealership website:


Ted’s thoughts from the evening:

I just attended the grand opening of Saab of North Olmsted which you posted about mid-February.

Victor Muller is a classy guy. He had to be suffering from jet lag, having just arrived from Europe, but he was very gracious and approachable. I had printed out a Saabsunited page from January 6, 2010 which had my picture at the Detroit Save Saab rally, hoping for an autograph on it. He wrote “Dear Ted, Thank you for your support when it really mattered. Victor Muller Cleveland March 10, 2011”. He posed for photos with anybody that asked (including me) and gave a very great speech.

I also received an email from Greg F, a new Saab 9-5 owner who attended the opening.

I got to attend the Grand Opening of Saab’s new prototype storefront at Saab of North Olmsted tonight and it was awesome! They have an extremely impressive floor plan (very modern) and had all the Saabs on display, including the new 9-4x in white! They also had one area focused on a Spyker car, which I think is a great idea. I would think that these types of storefronts will really sell more Saabs and bring “new people” to the Saab line! I am extremely glad that Bernie Moreno had the vision and the money to invest in this new dealership.

I also was lucky enough to meet and talk with Victor Muller and he was really fun to talk with! I really enjoyed hearing him so enthusiastically talk about the future of Saab – makes me even more glad that I purchased a 2010 Saab 9-5 Aero!!

I think that Saab’s future is looking promising and they will come back in the USA!!!!

It’s great to hear that the opening night was a success and kudos again to Bernie Moreno and the staff at North Olmsted for having the courage and vision to build this new dealership.

Press Release: Spyker Cars to sell Spyker Cars


  • Spyker Cars N.V.– the EURONEXT-listed holding company which operates the Spyker and Saab Automobile premium car brands – has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to sell the assets of its Spyker sportscar business (the “Spyker Business”) to a private UK holding company, CPP Global Holdings Limited, which is owned by Vladimir Antonov.
  • Indicative terms include a purchase price of 15 million Euros plus a 17 million Euros earn-out. The proceeds will be used to reduce Spyker Cars N.V.’s debt.
    Within 6 months of completion of the sale and subject to certain conditions, it is envisaged that Tenaci Capital B.V. would convert the 9.5 million Euro Convertible Loan at 3.75 Euros per share and 7.5 million Euros of its loans at 5.50 Euros per share to further reduce debt and interest.
  • This transaction would allow Spyker Cars N.V., which will change its name shortly, to exclusively focus on the Saab Automobile business while reducing debt and improving operating results through reduced interest expenses and removing the operating losses related to the Spyker Business.

Zeewolde, The Netherlands, 24 February 2011 – Spyker Cars N.V. has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CPP Global Holdings Limited, a UK-based company owned by Vladimir Antonov, concerning a potential sale of the Spyker sportscar business.

The transaction would be structured as an asset purchase of virtually all assets related to the Spyker Business, including the Spyker trademarks and other intellectual property rights, and would be subject to several conditions precedent, including the outcome of Purchaser’s due diligence.

If completed, the proceeds of the purchase price will be used to reduce Spyker Cars N.V. indebtedness to Tenaci Capital B.V., an investment company controlled by Spyker Cars N.V. CEO, Victor Muller, thereby reducing its interest burden going forward. The indicative purchase price would consist of two elements: 15 million Euros due on closing and a maximum of 17 million Euros payable in instalments over the period 2011-2016 from the Spyker Business’ Earnings Before Taxes.

To further reduce Spyker Cars N.V.’s debt, it is envisaged that within 6 months of completion of the sale Tenaci Capital B.V. would convert its Convertible Loan for the amount of 9.5 million Euros at 3.75 Euro per share as well as convert an additional amount of 7.5 million Euros at 5.50 Euros per share subject to completion of the sale and certain conditions.

Hans Hugenholtz, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Spyker Cars N.V., said: “This transaction will allow Spyker Cars N.V. to focus on the Saab Automobile business exclusively, will eliminate the requirement for us to make further capital investment in the Spyker Business, and will reduce our debt.

“The Spyker Business will benefit from a focused and independent management team to progress the business from a commercial and technological point of view. Victor Muller will continue as CEO of the Spyker Business until a successor is appointed, at which time he will become its non-executive chairman. Mr. Muller remains fully engaged as CEO of Spyker Cars N.V. and Chairman of the Board of Saab Automobile AB.

Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker Cars N.V. and Chairman of the Board of Saab Automobile AB, said: “Without Spyker we would not have been able to acquire Saab Automobile last year but the Spyker Business soon became a small fish in a large pond as a result. In terms of the overall results of Spyker Cars N.V., the Spyker Business had become immaterial, but to develop its business going forward, its cash needs are relatively significant. Therefore the decision to separate the Spyker Business and Saab Automobile from a capital structure point of view is a good one.”

Vladimir Antonov, chairman of Convers Group said: “Having created an automotive portfolio over the past two years consisting of premium, world-class companies and brands, we are convinced that Spyker will flourish within the CPP Group and become profitable as planned.”

Grand Opening – Saab of North Olmstead

Apparently we’ve got the OK to show this here, and you’ve got the OK to attend, as long as you RSVP beforehand.

Saab of North Olmstead has built a brand new, state of the art ‘Iceblock’ showroom and they’re having a big party to celebrate the opening.

Victor Muller will be there, and you can be too.


I know we’ve got a lot of Saab fans in Ohio who read SU. This event is a fantastic chance for you meet up, as well as seeing the newest showroom in the US, the Saab 9-4x and 9-5 (if you haven’t already seen it), the guy who saved Saab Automobile, and all the other entertainment that will go along with such an event.

The important thing is to RSVP Jim at the dealership. His email address is [email protected] so get in touch and let him know you’re coming.

Victor Muller in Canada

There is an interview of Victor Muller on Canada.com

I don’t know if this is a big site in Canada, but at least there is some news of Saab in Canadian media.

Most of the information given in this article is well known to most or all SaabsUnited readers but there are a couple of things that where new, at least to me.

John Anderson, executive director of sales in North America, hopes to grow the dealer network to about 25 stores and sell about 2,500 cars this year.

If you are missing a Dealer in your region, Saab is willing to expand from 13 (currently) to 25 dealers.

2500 cars is quite a lot, if we think that Saab has sold only 11 cars in January, but…

It’s working on establishing a leasing program — a key element for achieving sales success in the premium segment.

..such a leasing program will help a lot.

And at last a small detail about a possible Sonnett.

The other dream is to build a small two-seater sports car, a fresh iteration of the Sonnett, ….,would require the development of a new platform.

It seems like a Sonnett would be based on the same platform as a small Saab, and therefore without the 92(9-2) there will be no Sonnett.

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