There is some interesting Saab news in today's Spyker Cars 2009 Full Year revenue report.
Here are three important paragraphs from Victor Muller (CEO of Spyker, and Chairman of the Board of Saab) regarding Saab, its relationship with Spyker, and the road ahead to profitability:
We are very proud of having saved an iconic brand with very similar origins in the aviation industry. Although Spyker will be less than 0.5% of total sales of the combination and its results will be fairly marginal on the totality, we will definitely not take our eye of the ball and push ahead with Spyker's development unabatedly, but now within the framework of the infinite possibilities created by the infrastructure and resources made available to it through its sister company Saab. State of the art engineering facilities, access to Saab's "parts bin," at prices Spyker would never have been able to achieve as an ultra low volume manufacturer on its own, are now at its disposal. Of no less than 1,100 Saab dealers worldwide, a certain number will start to carry the Spyker brand, thereby massively increasing the Spyker distribution network.
Many people ask us why Spyker thinks that it can make Saab profitable by 2012, when Saab was perceived to be loosing money under GM's stewardship for almost two decades. First of all Saab did not lose money in all of those years. On the contrary, many of its profitable divisions where not consolidated in Saab, but directly in GM. Moreover, Saab contributed considerably to large group overheads and projects that it not benefitted from, yet was held to execute. When one would reconstruct and clean up Saab's historic figures including the above elements, a completely different picture appears. Secondly Saab's business plan, reviewed by many experts in the industry, clearly demonstrates that at very realistic production levels - not higher than those achieved as recent as 2007 (120,000 units) - Saab can be profitable.
Thirdly, Spyker will not manage Saab. It would be presumptuous to think that a small exotic car manufacturer could tell Saab how to run its business better. But what Spyker cán bring to Saab, and it will, is entrepreneurship, a quality Saab will definitely require now that is has to start operating as a stand alone manufacturer. Moreover, Spyker is good at branding and marketing and has developed solid know how on the premium market segment, of which know how we hope Saab will benefit. Saab's capable management, headed by CEO Jan-Ake Jonsson, will lead the company and I have taken up the role of chairman of the Board.
Also included in the press release is a "2010 Saab Outlook:"
As from the date of the closing, February 23, Saab's first priority was to restart production which had been halted for seven weeks. Fortunately, on March 22 the first new Saab, a new generation 9-5, rolled onto the production line and left end-of-line on the 24th. Saab is now back in full production mode.
Management started the implementation of the fully business plan. Also the first draw down under the European Investment Bank loan of EUR 400 million was made. The business plan foresees the widest array of cars the Saab brand has ever had in a matter of 16 months: the new 9-5 starting now, the 9-4X cross over in April 2011 and the 9-5 Sport Combi in July 2011. The new 9-3 will be launched mid 2012.
All production activities are now concentrated in Trollhattan, Sweden and all cars (with the exception of the 9-4X) will be produced there. The offices in Goteborg were closed and all activities transferred to Trollhattan as well causing serious savings as well as improved efficiencies.
On March 15 Adrian Hallmark started as Sales Director having been in leading functions at Porsche, Bentley and most recently Volkswagen.
2010 will also mark the year in which Saab becomes an independent company in the sense that many of the ties to GM are cut and Saab sets up its own infra structures such as the sales organisation outside GM's.
Sales volume in 2010 is expected to reach between 50.000 and 60.000 units which is mainly caused by the loss of capacity in the first quarter as a result of the liquidation period. The order bank is filling up quickly as a positive sign of renewed engagement by dealers and customers.
However, further restoring customer confidence and re-engaging the dealer body are the major priorities for management this year.