Spyker Cars sees Saab profitability by 2012

* Saab to focus on niche market with 3-4 models

* Development requires 1 bln euros in funding

* Saab, Spyker to operate as separate companies

By Aaron Gray-Block

AMSTERDAM, Feb 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Struggling Swedish carmaker
Saab is forecast to return to profitability by 2012 and its new
focus on three to four niche models will require funding of 1
billion euros ($1.4 billion), its buyer Spyker Cars (SPYKR.AS: )
said.

The tiny Dutch luxury carmaker, which produces several
dozen handmade sports cars a year, clinched an audacious deal
to buy Saab from General Motors [GM.UL] last week, rescuing the
brand from looming oblivion.

Spyker Chief Executive Victor Muller had told Reuters last
week that Saab would again make a profit in the “foreseeable”
future, but gave no firm timeline, saying the key to its future
was restoring confidence. [ID:nLDE60S28A]

In a statement late on Monday, Spyker Cars said Saab aims
to raise production to pre-crisis levels of about 100,000 to
125,000 cars including the 9-4X built in Mexico. Its sales and
distribution approach will be re-energized this year, it added.

“Spyker believes that through the purchase of Saab it has a
rare opportunity to acquire and rebuild a global car brand
which will be repositioned towards an independent
performance-oriented niche car company,” Spyker Cars said in
the statement ahead of its shareholder meeting on Feb. 12.

Saab will focus on three to four models: 9-3 (sedan,
hatchback, sports estate, X and convertible) and 9-5 (sedan,
sports estate and X) and the 9-4X for both the U.S. and
European markets.

In addition, Saab will investigate the potential of adding
a fourth smaller car line (9-1), but this model is not part of
the business plan and additional financing would be needed.

Saab’s business plan was drawn up by Saab management over
the past 10 months together with GM.

The plan will be partly financed by GM through $326 million
in redeemable preference shares, favourable supply terms and
deferred payments from Saab to GM, plus cash and a 400 million
euro European Investment Bank (EIB) loan.

Spyker and Saab will operate as two separate companies,
each focused on their distinct target markets, Spyker Cars
said.

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($1=.7189 Euro)
(Editing by Lincoln Feast)

Spyker Cars sees Saab profitability by 2012