Tyvärr kan jag inte språket men jag pekar på principen i bevakning.
TT med flera rapporterar att EU-lånet kan vara klart inom kort.
The only thing Muller doesn’t want to tell is who the investors (where the 74 million dollars are coming from) are. He’s open about all the other questions.
A few quotes from the program:
Muller answering the question whether it was scary to stand in front of all those SAAB employees: No, it was very moving.
Muller answering the question wheter the employees are better off now: Well, they’re sure better off than they would be at Monday if it hadn’t worked out.
(monday the last of the SAAB’s would be produced and it would have been the end after that)
Muller on the accusation that SAAB has a year production of 40.000 cars: It’s worse than that, they had a year production of 20.000 cars and sold 40.000. They were selling them from the pipeline. The GM had reduced production so the pipeline is emptying. Not a real bad situation when your starting a new era.
(at this point one of the directors of a SAAB dealership is asked whether he has an empty parking lot which wasn’t the case) 🙂
Muller answering the question on how it’s possible for a small car manufacturer to take over a giant manufacturer like SAAB: You should turn it arround. Spyker is only a mere 3 percent of the whole new company, so really Spyker will become SAAB.In financial terms that is. See it in the context of opportunity.
GM had to sell SAAB. No one would have believed it if he or she was told eight years ago that GM would be close to bankruptsy and would have to ask the US government for billions in loans. Because these loans can only be used in the USA GM has to dump their non US marks. Several other parties try to buy SAAB but don’t succeed and then you get this opportunity…a one time only opportunity. See Spyker as a vehicle for this opportunity. (because of the crisis the host says) Yes indeed.
Muller on the question when the moment was when he thought Now i have it:
Yes, that was a real relief. Tuesday evenening ca. 18:00 we signed the documents, before that everything was uncertain. Very intense it was. To draw a picture, Tuesday 11:00 in the morning everything was completely uncertain.
Muller on the following question how he did it then: I think I’m very persistent. And it was neccesary
Muller on the following question that the board of GM didn’t want to sell anymore: The board decided december 18th, after al the other failed attempts to sell SAAB, to liquidate SAAB. It was very complicated to change their mind.
Muller answers the question following that, what was the argument you used to get them to change their minds? It not only originated because we (Spyker/SAAB) did many good things, also I think, and that’s quite unique, that a SAAB society (SAAB drivers, dealers, etc.) have laid a heavy burden on GM not to liquidate SAAB. This resulted in a set of claims which resulted in GM deciding that it was after all a better plan not to liquidate SAAB but give it away with a handkiss (literal translation). Hovever, I don’t think Detroit whould have cared about it if a factory in south Sweden would habe been closed
(After that there is a item about the person Victor Muller and cars…)
Muller on the question who the people are who invested the 75 million: I’m not going to tell you that. Next question
Muller answers the next question if there is a Russian, Mr. Antonov, involved in the bussiness: Yes, he is. Since there isn’t a closing (on the deal) yet. Until then he is part of the company. He will sell his shares to me at this time and he is going to leave the company. (roughly translated)
The following question is obvious, is Mr Antonov’s departure a requirement by GM? No. The rumor has spead that GM doesn’t want any intelectual owned information to fall into the hands of the Russians. This is a understandable idea since the same happened in the case of Opel. The moment the transaction between GM, Magna and Sparebank would take place GM canceled the deal. The same sentiments
Muller doesn’t want to answer the question how much money he personally has invested in the company: I’ve got much money invested in Spyker, I’m not going to tell you how much is in SAAB.
Peter Paul de Vries is asked whether he drives SAAB and what does he think about the transaction: I don’t drive SAAB, my parents did, a 900 and even a 90. I think he did a marvelous job on the transaction but I am worried about the long term. I think higer than ever about Muller. However, I’ve seen Spyker on the Exchange index for six or seven years and it was’t too good. Promises nog met etc. 213 cars sold in six or seven years and a loss of 110 milion which translates to 500.000 euro’s loss per car. You’d better give them away for free. Victor Muller is good at kicking the ball far to the front of the field but running the venture is generally less well done. You need someone more manager like beside you.
Muller reacts to this saying: A good thing SAAB has an excelent management then. They will be running the venture.
The hosts ask why SAAB has been suffering so much losses then Muller answers:This is a very logical question but also it’s a bit unfair. SAAB didn’t fit the infrastructure of GM very well. SAAB was a company which built 120.000 cars a year within a company building millions. They had to use the platforms GM utilized so there were 26 cars built all on the same platform. The advantages in cost were outweighted by the fact that those cars were all the same and could only be differentiated by the badge on the bonnet. This was the essential problem.
Maarten van Rossum is asked what he thinks of the venture: I don’t think it’s a particular good idea. BMW, Mercedes are big companies with plenty resources for development. How are you (Muller) going to pay for bringing SAAB back to the SAAB-SAAB status?
Muller: SAAB is still connected to GM with many umbillicals and it will take time to undo that. It takes three years to develop a new model. The focus now is to make three models, the 9-3, 9-4x and 9-5. That’s in the bussiness plan. If we want to make another model, say a 9-1 then that will require extra investments. To make SAAB strong we have to focus on those three lines. That’s whats going to happen. Furthermore, remember that SAAB, being part of GM was confronted by very high overhead cost comming from GM. Those are gone now.
(on the snide comment that the latest SAAB’s are Opels and that this is not going to change for three years) No, no, no. Only the platform is for the coming three years GM. The models coming on the market now (9-5, the new 9-3 and 9-4x) are all based in the prototype, the arrow-x a very well done car. Thus, all great cars. If I had encountered cars which weren’t of the quallity I had expected, I wouldn’t have done it.
Peter Paul askes: Before SAAB is great again, how much money is going to get out of the company before SAAB is making a profit again? Three years, two years?
Muller answers: That would be a foreward looking statement. Let me say in good time. (after some more trying by the hosts) I’m not going to tell an exact timespan because I would have to hold a press conference if I would. It’s not in tens of years and also not in two weeks.
After the other items in the program, the people in the audience are asked if they believe in Victor Muller and they do.
A fun aspect:
The man eating the Robin Hood hat is Carlo Brantsen, a car critic from BNR news radio who said that he would eat his hat (Dutch saying?) if the deal was to succeed. He clearly didn’t believe in it. 🙂
Peter Paul de Vries (blue shirt, little balding, black jacket), former ceo Vereniging van Effectenbezitters (VEB), which is the society of shareholders (financial institution);
Maarten van Rossum: USA analist and writes stories for a newpaper.