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Swedish Automobile N.V.
Type Naamloze vennootschap
Founded 1999
Headquarters Zeewolde, Netherlands
Key people Victor Muller (founder and CEO), Hans Hugenholtz (Chairman of the supervisory board)
Industry Automotive
Products Automobiles
Revenue (turnover) €819.2 million (2010)[1]
Operating income (€140.1 million) (2010)[1]
Profit (€218.3 million) (2010)[1]
Total assets €1.078 billion (end 2010)[1]
Total equity (€206.5 million) (end 2010)[1]
Employees 3,830 (FTE, average 2010)[1]
Subsidiaries Saab Automobile
Spyker Cars

Swedish Automobile N.V. (abbreviated SWAN;[2][3][4] formerly Spyker Cars N.V.) is a Dutch automobile company founded in 1999 to produce the Spyker Cars luxury brand. In 2010, the company acquired Swedish car manufacturer Saab Automobile from General Motors.[5][6] In February 2011, Spyker announced the impending sale of its supercar division to Vladimir Antonov,[7] and subsequently changed its name to Swedish Automobile in June 2011.[8]


Spyker Cars N.V. was founded in 1999 by Victor Muller and Maarten de Bruijn to build exclusive sports cars such as the C8 Spyder and the C8 Laviolette. The company is not related to or controlled by the previous Spyker company that went bankrupt in 1929, only having the legal right to the brand name.

A Spyker C8 at Salon Prive, London

In 2005 the head designer and founder, Maarten de Bruijn, left the company.[citation needed]

In 2006 Spyker built the C12 La Turbie with an V12 engine capable of 500 horsepower and acceleration 0–60 mph in less than 4 seconds.

In 2007 Spyker, in collaboration with Italian car-design firm Zagato, produced the C12 Zagato, based in the La Turbie, but with more appealing body work, and the Zagato trademark roof bubbles. This is perhaps the more exclusive Spyker car to date.

On May 27, 2004 Spyker Cars listed on the Euronext Amsterdam Stock Exchange at €15.50, falling to a low of €8.28 in April 2005. The stock rebounded sharply in early 2006 to over €22 per 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.[citation needed] On November 13, 2005, Spyker Cars and Mubadala Development Company, a principal investment company wholly owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates, announced their strategic alliance with Mubadala, acquiring 17% of Spyker. Mubadala has a strong relationship with sports cars, also controlling 5% of Ferrari.[9]

In November 2009, Spyker announced plans to move production to Whitley, Coventry in Britain, where the Aileron model will be assembled by CPP manufacturing.[10] UK production began in February 2010.[11]

Acquisition of Saab

2011 Saab 9-5, the first new Saab released under Spyker ownership.

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.[12]

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,[13][14] but the deadline was later extended to December 23 and then indefinitely.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17][18] Following the deal the company Spyker Cars NV was later renamed to Swedish Automobile NV.

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 organised 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 when Spyker and Saab operate under the parent company Swedish Automobile, named Spyker Cars N.V. until June 2011.[21]

On February 25, 2011, Spyker Cars N.V. announced the impending sale of the sports supercar unit to Vladimir Antonov for an initial amount of 15 million euros. The reported reason for the sale was to reduce the car maker's debt load.[22][23]

The company changed its name to Swedish Automobile N.V. on June 15, 2011 after receiving approval at its annual shareholder meeting.[8]

In September 2011, it was announced that Swedish Automobile would sell Spyker Cars to the American company North Street Capital.[24] On 28 October 2011 it was reported that the Chinese carmaker Youngman and the Chinese automotive retailer Pang Da Automobile Trade Co had agreed a joint 100-million Euro (USD140 million) takeover of Saab Automobile and its UK dealer network unit from Swedish Automobile, with Youngman and Pang Da taking 60 and 40 percent stakes respectively.[25][26][27] Saab's restructuring process was granted, and the plan is that in 2014 the company should have a positive equity. The restructuring process will remove 500 employees from Saab, saving about 100 thousand Euros, according to the restructuring plan.[28]


Spyker F1

Main article: Spyker F1

Adrian Sutil driving for the Spyker Formula One team at the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix.

On September 9, 2006, Spyker bought Midland F1 Racing, a Formula One team from Canadian businessman Alex Shnaider. Spyker paid US$106.6 million for the team[29] 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.

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.[30]

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 had accepted their offer and became the new owners of the Spyker Formula One team,[31] which was renamed as Force India Formula One Team for the 2008 season

Spyker Squadron

Spyker Squadron's Spyker C8 Laviolette GT2-R at the 1000km of Silverstone.

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.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Annual Report 2010". Spyker Cars. Retrieved on 10 April 2011.
  2. "2011.08.31 Swan HY report 2011 _fin_ 20110831". Swedish Automobile (2011-08-31). Retrieved on 2011-10-30. “Swedish Automobile N.V. (Swan), a holding company that owns subsidiaries[...]”
  3. Carl Thulin (2011-10-28). "Muller: ”Jag har förlorat pengar på Saab”" (in Swedish). Dagens Industri. Retrieved on 2011-10-30. “[...]Saabs ägarbolag Swedish Automobile (Swan) och kinesiska Pang Da och Youngman[...]”
  4. Swade (2011-10-23). "Press Release: Swedish Automobile Terminates Subscription Agreement With Pang Da And Youngman". Inside Saab. Retrieved on 2011-10-30.
  5. Spyker Cars (January 26, 2010). "General Motors and Spyker Cars Reach Agreement on Saab", Retrieved on . 
  6. General Motors (January 26, 2010). "GM Reaches Agreement to Sell Saab to Spyker", Retrieved on . 
  7. Bloomberg
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Spyker to change name into Swedish Automobile", MarketWatch (7 June 2011). Retrieved on 22 June 2011. 
  9. "Mediobanca Sells 5% of Ferrari to Mubadala", Financial Express (July 28, 2005). 
  10. Dutch car maker plans move to UK, BBC News.
  11. "Dutch car-maker Spyker Cars begins UK production", The Independent (9 February 2010). Retrieved on 15 May 2011. 
  12. "GM's luxury Saab division to wind down, phase out | | Detroit Free Press". (2009-01-02). Retrieved on 2009-12-19.[dead link]
  13. "Spyker lägger nytt bud på Saab" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio (2009-12-20). Retrieved on 2009-12-20.
  15. "Spyker makes a new offer for Saab; General Motors will evaluate". Retrieved on 2010-01-28.
  16. "Spyker well-positioned to buy Saab: Genii Capital", Reuters (2010-01-23). Retrieved on 2010-01-28. 
  17. Harro ten Wolde (2009-02-09). "Persistence pays off for Spyker's CEO Victor Muller", Reuters. Retrieved on 2010-01-28. 
  18. Paukert, Chris (2009-07-10). "BREAKING: GM reaches agreement to sell Saab to Spyker! — Autoblog". Retrieved on 2010-01-28.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Russian Investor Barred From Saab Provides Financing for Spyker". BusinessWeek (2009-12-08). Retrieved on 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). "Spyker Cars finalizes the purchase of Saab", 
  22. Bloomberg
  23. Russia's Antonov sees Saab missing sales target
  24. Press release September 29, 2011.
  25. "Saab Sputters On, Saved by 2 Chinese Automakers", The New York Times (28 October 2011). Retrieved on 29 October 2011. 
  26. "Sweden's Saab heads for Chinese owners after rescue bid", Reuters (28 October 2011). Retrieved on 29 October 2011. 
  27. "Saab chief Victor Muller reflects on sale of car maker", BBC News (28 October 2011). Retrieved on 29 October 2011. 
  28. "Saabs rekonstruktion beviljad - 500 jobb ska bort" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio (2011-10-31). Retrieved on 2011-10-31.
  29. Midland sells MF1 Racing to Spyker,, September 9, 2006
  30. "Spyker considers selling F1 team", (2007-08-14). Retrieved on 2007-08-14. 
  31. "Mallya and Mol set for Spyker takeover", F1 (2007-09-03). Retrieved on 2007-09-03. 

External links