For the former Saab CEO Victor Muller today was one of the successful days. Youngman has signed the long-awaited contracts and is investing 10 million in the financially very limited manufacturer of exclusive sports cars. In addition, another 25 million € will flow into the new Spyker D8 project in which Youngman holds 75% of the shares.
The new Super SUV, actually an old and aged project that was on hold for a long time, should make the slightly wealthier part of this world happy. The sale price should be at one million US dollars, so no car for the smaller purse. Hmm. 1.000.000 dollars for a seemingly bulky car of a barely known manufacturer? The main market is China, where European luxury goods are booming. Still ambitious. But what was never ambitious and humble about Victor Muller?
The Saab-Spyker-Youngman-Phoenix project is also taking shape. The joint venture, where the Chinese are targeting 80% of the share capital and wishing to invest, is based on a Spyker variant of the Saab Phoenix platform. As already announced, the final product should be more luxurious and expensive than the original Saab variant. Where and when the joint product of Spyker and Youngman is supposed to come off the production line is still uncertain. Both China and a European location are mentioned.
Victor Muller himself has recently been a frequent guest in Trollhättan. There, as we know, an automobile plant is vacant waiting for employment. Serious to be expected, however, is pure speculation.
In addition, Spyker will transfer all naming rights to a new company owned by 75% of the Chinese, and will also grant naming licenses for the new projects. Youngman is hereby taking a strategic step further and breaking away from the Lotus dependency. Spyker is a Chinese-owned brand name that's what Youngman has always wanted.
The whole package sounds good and looks like a classic win-win situation. If there were not yet the lack of blessing of the business by the authorities in Beijing. A situation that will be familiar to most readers.
There was still the 3 billion US dollar lawsuit from Spyker against the US auto giant GM. General Motors wants to dismiss the lawsuit and Spyker had submitted new papers to substantiate the lawsuit. Now the Michigan court has a hearing for the 19. February 2013 set.
In a few years, two different investors could produce products based on the same technology. One product could appear under the “Saab” brand, the other under the “Spyker” label. Muller and his activities and dreams will stay with us for quite a while. There is for sure. But are we really still interested in Muller?