After a lot of Saab's future in the last few days comes a short look at a player of the Saab past. It has become very quiet around former Saab owner Victor Muller. For a felt second he was present in the Swedish public press in winter when he had an accident while skiing in Italy.
The Geneva Motor Show had to do without him and Spyker. Does Muller no longer feel like on a big stage?
It would be nice if you could write about the successes of the Dutchman. Actually, you want every human happiness. Roughly speaking, one could summarize Muller's time to Saab as the ambitious plans do not work. In detail, it's the little things of everyday life and the aftershocks from the friendship with Vladimir Antonov that make life difficult for Muller.
For example, unpaid legal bills are recorded as minor items. The beginning of negative press in the year 2014. Joest Straat, who was a lawyer for Spyker, had sued the exclusive sports car manufacturer for the payment of 22.838,75 € after he could not or did not want to pay. The proposed by Muller 10.000,00 € were unacceptable, the court gave Joest Straat right. This could now file for bankruptcy for Spyker, but probably will not do that, and is working on an amicable solution.
These are the everyday worries that hurt Muller. It gets more threatening to look at the Spyker numbers for the first half of 2013. A turnover of 682.000,00 €, which would correspond to two sports cars sold, is offset by a net loss of 5.2 million €. And it gets even worse. There are serious after-effects from the business relationship with Vladimir Antonov, which endanger Muller and Spyker.
A Latvijas Krājbanka 2,3 million leasing contract for which Muller is just about to be called for is demanded by the administrators of the former bank belonging to Antonov's Reich. The money was for machines at the Coventry Prototype Panels intended to manufacture the Spyker C8 in England. The contract itself, a tricky triangular structure, ran as a business through several companies, almost all of which are now insolvent. The machines were never delivered, production never started, the money has perished somewhere, the C8 is being assembled again by hand in Zeewolde. If a buyer can be found. But the bank's insolvency administrators are persistent and an arbitration tribunal in Latvia has already ordered Muller to pay. He will challenge the proceedings. Naturally.
Perhaps life after Saab would have meant something better with Muller if he had looked for the right partners. There were soaring plans to build a premium vehicle on the Saab Phoenix platform together with Lotus-Youngman. And there was this bizarre project, the Spyker D8 SUV, which depending on the shape of the day was supposed to cost $ 1 million, sometimes only $ 250.000. For this, and for the Phoenix project, both partners wanted to invest some € 100 million and hire a large number of former Saab engineers. The past few years have happened - nothing.
And that's exactly where the problem lies. Spyker is not very good at cash, if you can believe the local press, pays the salaries only partially or not at all. Partner Pang Qingnian from Lotus-Youngman should no longer be available for Muller. In addition, it is believed, without citing any evidence, the Chinese are said to have owed the agreed € 10 million since December 2012. Which would not be surprising, because Muller-Spyker would not be the first European investment where Lotus-Youngman had not fulfilled its obligations. The bus manufacturer Viseon is also a victim of investors and went into bankruptcy in 2013 after no promised funds from China. Some readers will now be happy that Youngman did not win the purchase of Saab. I feel the same way.
What “Luky Vic” is missing right now is the necessary amount of luck, which seemed safe for a long time. On Wikipedia you can find the entry under Spyker “Spyker Cars NV [spɛi̯ːkəʁ] was a Dutch Company, the exclusive sports car built ...”Which is a bit premature. Spyker is in need, but there is still purpose optimism in Zeewolde, and the Spyker B6 should still come onto the market ... as a Porsche competitor at eye level with the 911 and this time with a Lotus 6-cylinder engine.
The latest idea to start production: A Spyker B6 bond. For a sum of £ 100.000, around € 120.000, the car-crazy investor gets the opportunity to secure a B6 of the first edition. € 25 million is required, which Muller would like to collect in this way. Also involved in the “Spyker Venator Bond” are investment companies whose names appear familiar to us from the Spyker Saab era. Some things never seem to change.
Aside from the unfortunate economic environment, the sporting facilities for a success of the B6 Venator would definitely exist. Under the cover of the B6 there are German sports car genes. An Artega GT, newly dressed and modified. Another tragic story and maybe not a good omen.