Spyker Cars

Spyker Cars N.V.

Spyker Cars N.V. is a Dutch hand-built automobile manufacturer and the owner of Saab Automobile. The company is not related to or controlled by the previous Spyker company that went bankrupt in 1929. The modern Spyker Cars only has the legal right to the brand name. The company's motto is "Nulla tenaci invia est via", which is Latin for "For the tenacious, no road is impassable".


The company

The reborn company was founded by Victor Muller and Maarten de Bruijn in 1999, and since 2000 has been building exclusive sports cars like the Spyker C8 and the C8 Laviolette. Spyker's history of producing aero engines is reflected in details in these new cars as well as in the logo.

The C8 Laviolette has a 4172 cc Audi V8 engine delivering and a top speed of . On July 14, 2005, it was announced that the C8 was approved for sale on the United States market.

In 2006 the Spyker D12 Peking-to-Paris high-performance SUV, which began production in late 2007, was announced at the Geneva Motor Show.

Spyker Cars is listed on Euronext Amsterdam. The initial public offering was on May 27, 2004, at € 15.50, falling to a low of € 8.28 in April 2005. The stock rebounced sharply in early 2006 to over € 22 a share. Early in 2007 the stock showed a sharp decline to levels beneath € 13 because of financing issues. As a result, several stock issues were announced to big investors. Notably, all shares have been sold at higher prices than the market price at the moment of announcement. On November 13, 2005, Spyker Cars and Mubadala Development Company (a principal investment company wholly owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi) announced their strategic alliance with Mubadala acquiring 17% of Spyker. Mubadala has a strong relationship with sports cars, they also control 5% of Ferrari.[1]

In 2005 the head designer, Maarten de Bruijn, left the company.

In November 2009, Spyker announced plans to move production to Whitley, Coventry in Britain, where the Aileron model will be assembled by CPP manufacturing.[2]

On February 23, 2010, Spyker closed a deal to buy Swedish carmaker Saab from General Motors for US$74 million in cash and US$326 million in preference shares.[3]


Spyker F1

On September 9, 2006, Spyker bought Midland F1 Racing, a Formula One team from Russian businessman Alex Shnaider. Spyker paid US$106.6 million for the team [4] which was re-named Spyker MF1 Team for the last three races of the 2006 Formula One season. As part of the deal, the cars had a revised livery for the final three races of 2006.

The new Spyker F1 team used the Dutch flag from then on (instead of the Russian flag), since Spyker is based in the Netherlands. For the 2007 season the team was named Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team. Etihad (Airways) and Aldar (Real Estate Developers) corporates were the main sponsors for the team, from the oil-rich Emirate of Abu Dhabi.[5]

On August 14, 2007, Spyker Cars announced that it would have to sell all or part of the team due to a potential split of the team from its parent company.[6]

On September 3 Indian billionaire Dr Vijay Mallya (Chairman and CEO of Toyota sponsors Kingfisher Airlines) and Dutch entrepreneur Michiel Mol (Spyker’s Formula One Director), stated the Spyker board has accepted their offer and will sign off within a month to become the new owners of the Spyker Formula One team.[7]

As a result of this agreement, the team was sold to a consortium named "Orange India" led by Mallya and Mol after approval by Spyker's shareholders. Contracts were signed quickly, and Mallya attended the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix as team owner.[8] Starting with the 2008 season, the team name changed to Force India.[9] As part of the companies expanding operations they began to sell cars in India by the start of 2011 [10]

Spyker Squadron

The Spyker Squadron is the factory racing team, competing in events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Le Mans Series, occasional entries in the FIA GT Championship, and the 12 hours of Sebring. Spyker also supplies a car to Swiss Spyker distributor, Speedy Garages, running under the name Speedy Racing Team.


Saab takeover

Upon the failure of an expected deal by Koenigsegg Group AB to purchase Saab Automobile from General Motors late in November 2009, Spyker Cars began talks with GM to take over Saab. However, with a stated deadline of the end of 2009 for completion of the sale, it was announced on December 18 that GM and Spyker, after carrying out an extensive due diligence effort, had determined that a satisfactory deal was not possible and GM would begin the process of a staged wind-down of Saab Automobile.[11]

Spyker Cars shortly thereafter made another offer that is said to solve all the problems that GM pointed at. GM had until December 21 to respond,[12][13] but the deadline was later extended to December 23 and then indefinitely.[14] As negotiations continued with GM, another rival bidder for Saab Automobile emerged - Luxembourg-based investment firm Genii Capital backed by F1 mogul Bernie Ecclestone. However, following weeks of negotiations, it was announced by Genii on 23 January 2010 that Spyker was on the brink of coming to an agreement. This was also confirmed by Spyker CEO Victor Muller who said GM and Spyker were meeting in Stockholm to approve the deal.[15]

Muller closed the deal against expectations to buy Swedish automaker Saab from General Motors on January 26, 2010, in a deal worth US$400 million.[16][17] Spyker will now become part of Saab Spyker Automobiles.[18]

The delays in the takeover were attributed to an investigation by the Swedish monetary agency Riksgälden and the Swedish security police Säpo, where the agencies found connections between the family of major shareholder Vladimir Antonov and organized crime, as well as involvement in money laundering. Säpo reported their findings to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, and shortly thereafter GM dropped further talks about the deal, until a company controlled by Victor Muller called Tenaci purchased Antonov's share in the company. Antonov also announced that $25mn has been given to Spyker as a loan to purchase Saab Automobile from General Motors. He confirmed that the loan will be provided by Convers Bank a bank owned by the Antonovs' and that GM was fully aware of that.[19] Antonov cannot invest in Spyker until 2016; when GM's preference share holding ends. Another way he could enter earlier would be permission by General Motors. Antonov stated, "I'm not involved in crime and I've initiated an investigation as to why GM thinks I am " [19]

Vladimir Antonov is president of the Russian bank Convers Group. He is a son of the Russian tycoon Aleksandr Antonov who was injured in a shooting in Moscow in March 2009.[20]

On February 23, 2010, Spyker Cars closed the deal to buy Saab Automobile from General Motors, since then Spyker and Saab operate under the parent company Spyker Cars N.V..[21]


  1. . Financial Express. July 28, 2005. http://www.financialexpress.com/news/mediobanca-sells-5-of-ferrari-to-mubadala/139325/. 
  2. Dutch car maker plans move to UK, BBC News.
  3. GM Media (2010-02-23). . Press release. http://media.gm.com/content/media/us/en/news/news_detail.brand_gm.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2010/Feb/0223_Saab. 
  4. Midland sells MF1 Racing to Spyker, GrandPrix.com, September 9, 2006
  5. . Manipe F1. 2006-10-24. http://www.manipef1.com/news/2006/index.php?id=1752. Retrieved 2006-10-24. 
  6. . autosport.com. 2007-08-14. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/61529. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  7. . F1. 2007-09-03. http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2007/9/6697.html. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  8. . F1. 2007-09-30. http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2007/9/6895.html. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  9. . Formula One Administration Ltd. 2007-10-24. http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2007/10/7036.html. Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
  10. 21 Nov, 2010, 01.35PM IST,PTI (2010-11-21). . Economictimes.indiatimes.com. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/auto/automobiles/Spyker-Cars-to-make-India-debut-next-year/articleshow/6963867.cms. Retrieved 2010-12-17. 
  11. . freep.com. 2009-01-02. http://www.freep.com/article/20091218/BUSINESS01/91218016/1332/GM-to-wind-down-Saab. Retrieved 2009-12-19.  [dead link]
  12. (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. 2009-12-20. http://www.sr.se/cgi-bin/ekot/artikel.asp?Artikel=3321983. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  13. http://www.autonews.com/article/20091220/COPY01/312209992/1265
  14. . Autoweek.com. http://www.autoweek.com/article/20091220/CARNEWS/912209998. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  15. . Reuters. 2010-01-23. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60M14E20100123. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  16. Harro ten Wolde (2009-02-09). . Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60P5LK20100126. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  17. Paukert, Chris (2009-07-10). . Autoblog.com. http://www.autoblog.com/2010/01/26/breaking-gm-reaches-agreement-to-saab-to-spyker/. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  18. . . http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/246896/. Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  19. a b . BusinessWeek. 2009-12-08. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-02-17/russian-investor-barred-from-saab-provides-financing-for-spyker.html. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  20. Chinese Company Buys Rights to Make Old Saab Models, New York Times, December 14, 2009.
  21. Spyker Cars N.V. (2010-02-23). . Press release. http://www.spykercars.nl/download/investor/closure_SAAB_Feb_230210_final.pdf.