MUNICH -- Spyker Cars NV will rebuild Saab around the 9-3, 9-5 and 9-4X models if it buys the Swedish brand from General Motors Co., says Spyker CEO Victor Muller. Plans for a Saab 9-1 entry-level car would be put on hold.
Muller said Saab would maintain its headquarters, engineering and production in Trollhattan, Sweden, under Spyker's ownership. Trollhattan would produce all Saab cars except the 9-4X, which would be produced in GM's assembly plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.
Muller made the comments in an interview with AOL Autos.
He said Saab would press ahead with the launch of the new 9-5 sedan this spring.
The 9-4X crossover, which shares mechanicals with the Cadillac SRX, would be introduced late next year or early in 2011. A new 9-3 would go on sale in 2012.
Close ties with GM
GM would continue to produce engines for Saab, and Saab would use GM parts in vehicles such as the 9-4X and 9-5, Muller said.
Saab's relationship with GM “would last for years,” Muller told AOL Autos.
He said he has abandoned plans to trim Saab's U.S. network of dealerships from the current 218 stores down to 137 outlets.
Spyker could use Saab's all-wheel-drive technology, plus other components from Saab's parts bin, Muller said, adding that selected Saab dealerships could sell Spyker cars.
He declined to indicate whether Saab can break even on sales of 100,000 units by 2011 or 2012, as had been previously reported. Saab sold 93,295 units in 2008, and sales this year could fall as low as 60,000.
Spyker, which is backed by Russian and Arabic investors, lodged a renewed fast-track offer to buy Saab on Dec. 20. Money-losing Spyker made 43 luxury cars last year.
GM has extended a Dec. 31 deadline to sell or close Saab until Jan. 7, giving Spyker more time to come up with financing to buy the brand.
GM has said it is still in talks with potential bidders for its Swedish unit.
Merbanco Inc., a Wyoming-based investment group, has been named in the media as another Saab bidder.
Saab said it will restart some production lines after a holiday break on Jan. 11 for its new 9-5 model and cabrio.
"We have the orders and we have to deliver them as usual. We also have the orders for the 9-3 and others. The factory has to continue again," Saab spokesman Eric Geers said on Dec. 30.