The web is abuzz with unofficial news that CPP, or Coventry Prototype Panels, has bought Italian car design firm Zagato, recently famous for its Aston Martin V12 Zagato. CPP is owned by Vladimir Antonov, who originally expressed a desire to buy Saab, but then purchased the exotic car arm Spyker instead.
If the reports prove to be true, Antonov will be building quite a little niche company with CPP, Spyker, Bowler offroad racing and now Zagato design. The reports have obviously lead to our excitement getting away from us, and various theories of future models that we might see. Think Zagato design on a Spyker supercar and you’re with us.
Russian banker Vladimir Antonov has said that Saab will likely miss its 2011 sales target of 80,000 units this year. Antonov helped fund Spyker’s purchase of the GM Saab brand, and will purchase the niche sports car production unit from Spyker this year through its British holding company, CPP Global Holdings. Antonov predicts that instead of the 80,000 target, Saab will sell between 60 and 65,000 units this year.
That’s still up from last year’s 31,696 units sold, but it might not make Saab profitable enough for parent company Spyker. On selling its luxury car business, Spyker has said it will concentrate on Saab operations instead. Antonov has ruffled a few feathers at Saab, as the company looks to stay positive and follow its new business plan.
Obviously new beginnings are not always rosy, but Saab has been maintaining an optimistic outlook for its future operations. Commenting on Antonov’s statements, Saab head of communication Eric Geers says: “I know that at Saab we are moving ahead, we are following the business plan. The sales target is not our prime target. Our prime target is to follow our business plan and deliver, within the financial parameters.”
In the meantime, Spyker CEO Victor Muller has dismissed the claims as nonense, but has declined comment on whether Saab will need added capital in the future. Other analysts have suggested that Saab needs new investors that will provide technical expertise and not just finance. More to come from this story in the future.
With Saab now in the Spyker portfolio, the benefits for the Dutch supercar company in having acquired Saab are slowly emerging. One such benefit is access to new markets and dealership networks. Whether in light of this or not, Spyker is in fact planning on developing a China-specific GT2 road version, although with a launch date of October this year mentioned, that would make development pretty much complete.
According to China Car Times, Spyker is also planning to build a larger four-door model, and a possible Saab 9-5 five-door model could also be part of the Spyker-Saab China plan. Cleverly, Spyker is planning that its models will be specifically designed for the new market and it hopes that China will become its second biggest market outside of the US.
We have seen a number of luxury car manufacturers make special edition models for China and here is just another reason for us all to be envious of the new millionaire money in China that is creating supercar dreams for the rest of us. Meanwhile, I’m hoping that this new push of Spyker in China will see some benefits for Saab, too.
Source | Autoblog.com
The pleasing rescue of Saab by the supercar company has also now evolved into interesting and ambitious plans for the Swedish automaker. The Saab range could get an overhaul, expanding from its current sedan focus, and according to Muller the idea of a Saab Aero-X is not so crazy. He has revealed that it could easily be done, creating the model off the base of the Spyker C8 Aileron.
Not only is that intriguing news in itself, in an announcement that could make Britain proud, Muller has earmarked production to take place at the Coventry plant in the UK, where Spyker moved its assembly operations until the end of 2009. This is turning into an auto romance and all we can do is hope that the rosy future for Saab comes to fruition under the guidance of Spyker.
These videos show Spyker to the rescue of Saab, given the 11th hour deal that finally went through, saving the company from closure by parent, General Motors. Saab seems relieved at the outcome, and we’ve no doubt the two European brands will find their way ahead nicely, although possibly slowly.
The videos show the press conference with Saab CEO Jan Åke Jonsson (who looks very pleased) and Spyker CEO Victor Muller, who looks quietly confident. Here’s to hoping the future will be a bright one for Saab. After the jump is a celebratory video of workers from Trollhättan, who got the day off when liquidators packed up and went home.
Spyker has announced its interest in Saab, in an extremely short statement released to the media late yesterday. The announcement merely confirms that Spyker, together with its Russian shareholder Convers Group, has expressed interest in a possible acquisition of Saab Automobile AB.
Spyker is now on the list of company names that have publicly expressed an interest, and most likely for Europeans it is welcome news. One of the main groups interested in purchasing Saab is the Chinese BAIC, although concerns over intellectual property and future competition mean that a full sale to the Chinese is unlikely.
US finance group Renco and financier Ira Rennert are said to be interested, although Merbanco Merchant Banking US investment firm is said to already have been ruled out by General Motors. Spyker and Saab would certainly be a curious combination and we can’t wait to see the first Saab supercar rendering to emerge.
Spyker has released these new pics of the C8 Aileron coupé. The roadster version with electronic soft-top will be revealed at Pebble Beach. This model is equipped with an Audi V8 engine at 400 hp, and will substitute the original version launched back in 2000.
The wheel base has been lengthened by 150 mm to make room for a ZF, six-speed automatic transmission. The Spyker C8 Aileron is on sale at prices of 189,990 euros (manual transmission) and 195,990 euros.
Entering the fray of supercars like Ferrari, but with dubious success, we had a look at the Spyker stand at the Geneva show. It managed to get itself an exclusive location in the triangle of Lotus, Bentley and Pagani, but unfortunately we were still unimpressed by its gaudy style.
But as one reader of autoblog.it says, the Spyker C8 Aileron is saved by its engine: a classic V8 4.2 litre from Audi. See what you think in the gallery below.