Press Release: Spyker’s deal with Youngman to build Spykerised Saabs (and other things)

I’ll probably talk a bit more about this as time goes by so I figure it’s best to have a copy of it on the record here.

I’m quite surprised by this and intrigued as to how this could possibly be achieved and what might be the end game because right now, I don’t know how the things planned in this release could possibly come to pass. But hey, I’m totally up for listening to any reasonable explanations from people in the know.

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SPYKER AND YOUNGMAN SIGN FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT FOR 29.9 PERCENT STAKE, JOINT VENTURE FOR SPYKER D8 SSUV AND JOINT VENTURE FOR NEW PRODUCT RANGE BASED ON PHOENIX PLATFORM

Zeewolde, the Netherlands, 27 August 2012 – Spyker N.V. ( Spyker ) announces that it signed a Framework Agreement with the Chinese car manufacturer Zhejiang Youngman Passenger Car Group Co, Ltd ( Youngman ) today.

Today’s Framework Agreement entails the following:

Subject to satisfactory completion by Youngman of a due diligence on Spyker and the satisfaction of relevant conditions to be set forth in the definitive transaction documentation, Youngman will invest Euro 10,000,000 in Spyker of which approximately Euro 6,700,000 as subscription for such number of Class A shares in Spyker as will constitute 29.9% of the issued and outstanding share capital of Spyker on a fully diluted basis for a price of Euro 0.05 per share, and the remaining approximately Euro 3,300,000 shall be provided to Spyker in the form of a shareholder loan. Youngman undertakes to not exceed the 29.9 percent threshold and therefore has no ambition to make a mandatory offer on all outstanding shares in Spyker.

Youngman shall pay the first tranche of the share subscription in an amount of Euro 2,300,000 to Spyker within 7 days as of today.

Youngman shall pay the remaining Euro 7,700,000 no later than 45 days after the execution of the definitive transaction documentation.

Youngman and Spyker will jointly invest in a Joint Venture to be called Spyker P2P B.V. ( Spyker P2P ) in which Youngman will make a cash contribution in the amount of Euro 25,000,000 and will hold 75% of the shares whilst Spyker will make its contribution by transferring the technology it developed for the Spyker D8 Peking-to-Paris, a $ 250,000 four door Super Sports Utility Vehicle ( SSUV ) as well as the Spyker trademarks and will hold 25% of Spyker P2P’s shares. Youngman’s contribution shall be paid in installments in accordance with the development and manufacturing plan of the SSUV with the objective of launching that car by the end of 2014.Additional models on the SSUV technology are being contemplated.

Youngman and Spyker will jointly incorporate a second Joint Venture to be called Spyker Phoenix B.V.( Spyker Phoenix ) in which Youngman will contribute the rights to the Phoenix platform as developed by Saab Automobile AB in 2010/2011 to which Youngman acquired a license in 2011 as well as provide all required funding. Youngman will hold 80% of Spyker Phoenix’ shares whilst Spyker will hold 20% of Spyker Phoenix’ shares which shareholding will be exempt from dilution.

Spyker Phoenix shall develop and manufacture a new full range of premium car models based on the Phoenix platform which models will be positioned higher than the comparable Saab models were. Spyker Phoenix products may be manufactured in Europe and China as the case may be.

Youngman and Spyker agree to provide all the (manufacturing) technologies owned by each of them to Spyker Phoenix for its use free of charge.

Victor R. Muller, Spyker’s CEO said: Since the regretful demise of Saab Automobile AB in December 2011,we have been investigating the possibilities to continue our intended cooperation with Youngman to the benefit of both companies thereby utilizing the assets, both tangible as well as intangible, each of us has at its disposal. With this Framework Agreement, Youngman and Spyker lay the foundation for an intense cooperation whereby we will pursue the objectives we each had in mind when we were forging our cooperation as partners in Saab Automobile AB. We clearly share the vision on how to shape Spyker’s future as partners going forward .

Pang Qingnian, Youngman’s CEO said:” We have felt all along that a cooperation with Spyker had to be pursued, even after we both unjustifiedly lost the opportunity to restructure Saab Automobile AB as a going concern and jointly develop its business, however, we secured Saab Automobile’s technology. With this Agreement, many of our original intentions with the “Saab” brand will still take shape and we are excited to help Spyker further develop its vehicle model range with the SSUV and vehicles based on Saab Automobile’s Phoenix platform technology both in China as well as in the rest of the world.

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29 Comments

  1. What a ripper! As NEVS can’t use the Griffin perhaps Spyker and Youngman can resurrect the brand properly by speaking to SAAB AB. Why not use this well know brand to their advantage?
    Griffin up!!

  2. Wow, my old fav, the old Chinese guy is back – hallelujah! 🙂

    I wish I could buy one in 2015 – that being said I have a feeling someone’s plan is based on GM’s money (to avoid a full frontal embarrassment of a public court case about its truly disgusting, lowlife tricks that clearly killed the Saab-Youngman deal.)
    Go Spyker-Youngman, it’s time to skin the rotten, incompetent-scumbag PoS General, they got away with their lowlife qntics way too long…

  3. While part of me wants desperately to believe that a Spyker-YM partnership utilizing former Saab talent and technology can produce something approaching the next generation of reasonably affordable Saabs (seeing as NEVS appear to have no interest in doing so)… the realist in me knows that the automobile industry burns cash at a frightening rate, and Youngman’s investment seems comically small in the grand scheme of things. Even assuming that Spyker will eventually get a $300M settlement from GM, that’s an absolute drop in the ocean to sustain an ongoing small car maker as we all saw in the final months of SWAN ownership. Nevertheless, if anybody can pull this off , it would be VM– even if this is all just to make $250,000 luxury cars, I wish him the best.

    1. I think I’ll have to put a comment filter on and get it to cross out any use of the term “reasonably affordable” because I don’t think there’s any way that cars produced under this arrangement will match that description.

      And yeah, you’re right – the numbers they’re mentioning are a drop in the ocean. Spyker’s lawsuit against GM is actually for $3billion and even that would possibly be short of what’s needed to get things done here (assuming they actually have the legal right to do what they’re proposing, which I think is questionable).

      1. Well, the timing of this thing was already in doubt within a few hours. The press release states that the so-called SSUV should be launched at the end of 2014, whereas Muller told TTela only hours later that he didn’t expect to launch the car before the end of 2015. Sloppy communication at best.

        And developing a car for EUR 25 million: is that really feasible?

        1. And developing a car for EUR 25 million: is that really feasible?

          No. And that’s #1 of two significant points of concern with this.

          1. Right.

            Once again, I am fascinated by the difference in communication between the press release and the comments made by Muller afterwards. I already mentioned the glaring timing error, but an article in Dutch magazine Autoweek (http://www.autoweek.nl/autonieuws/20340/exclusiefvijf-nieuwe-autos-spyker-youngman) quotes Muller as saying that there are plans for no less than five new vehicles. You might remember them as the host of new models Saab announced at the time of signing the YM/PD agreement last summer. Basically, Muller is saying that Spyker and Youngman will continue were Saab died and will in the coming years build Castriota-designed Spykers ‘9-1’, ‘9-3’, ‘9.5’, ‘9-4X’ and ‘9-7X’. The press release doesn’t even come close to revealing that information.

            Then again, I clearly remember how the 9-1, 9-6X and 9-7X ended up in the Saab press release last summer. Let’s say there wasn’t a lot of time for setting up a communication strategy for that.

          2. Yeah, I read that somewhere, too, about the big model range.

            My mind immediately went to Lotus and how they announced 5 new models at a motor show a few years ago. That announcement saw them ridiculed from here to kingdom come and the scattergun approach of the company typified by that announcement basically led to the sacking of Danny Bahar, their CEO.

            I love Victor’s work and again, I’d work for him again in a split second, but he’s at his head-scratching best here.

          3. I’m glad that others picked up on that. I had to re-read the numbers to make sure that I wasn’t missing a zero or two.

            Something doesn’t smell right, even if ‘RedJ’ is correct.

          4. I am pretty sure it can be done. These are the expensive points:

            1. Modern engine technology
            2. Cost optimization to bring the price down
            3. Crash tests
            4. special tools

            Alright, here we go: 1. is solved by buying engines, likes Spyker used to do. 2. and 3. are solved by relying on established engineering knowledge, using best materials, and, when you are not sure, and don’t have the money to find out, oversize. And 4. is solved by using as many off-the shelf parts as possible, and using craftmanship for others (yes, it is possible to hand manufacture car bodies.

            Such cars will be unbelievable expensive (look at Spyker’s prices), but not for the reason of high development costs.

            That is how it is done in general aviation.

        2. Jeroen,
          I think you are mixing things.

          On the one side Spyker wants to finish its SSUV, which has nothing to do with Phoenix or Saab in the next 1-2 years with the financing of Youngman, and on the other side they want to build up to five Phoenix based cars, where the first one should be available by 2015.

  4. Seems today that the bankruptcy lawyers finally have woken up from their coma and demanded some action ( = money) by NEVS no later than Friday this week. And with NEVS out of the picture (I guess they will be since NEVS has just been one long amateur hour from the beginning), the bankruptcy lawyers could very well be forced to consider the final bid of SEK 4.000.000.000 from Youngman. Or perhaps NEVS will see Spyker/Youngman as their savior, since their original plans had more holes in it than a Swiss cheese. So maybe no coincidence that Spyker/Youngman went public with the joint-venture this week to show they are still in the game.

  5. So Spyker and Youngman have all along been working together to appropriate the technology of Saab for their own purpose.

    No wonder they allowed Saab to fail. It’s Saab’s technology that they were after, not its debts.

    1. It was basically Youngman’s money that kept Saab Automobile AB afloat for months until GMs stance made the deal impossible. Also, the transaction where Youngman gained some rights to the Phoenix platform were publicly announced last autumn. In the case of debts, there were of course the possibility for a “fresh” start without debts after the bankruptcy (something that were forced by the law), but that is also a risky plan since the estate will start to scatter when the bankruptcy process starts.

      1. Whatever it is, unless you belong to the Muller Church Of Turbo Scientology, one cannot possibly believe they will be making any cars.

        The stock market has responded with its vote of confidence. Spyker stock, after a brief blip, is back at 4 cents.

        One does has to tip their hat to Mr. Muller as a showman, however. The “Spyker Youngman will make cars” press release is everywhere, and not just auto rags either. The Wall Street Journal reported it with a straight face.

  6. This venture interests me for the drama and the intrigue, but not so much for the end product. Spykers are outlandish and outrageously priced toys for the filthy rich, and these will be no different. I am interested in the serious, stylish workhorse family and business car that is Saab. At this point, a £25-30,000 electric NEVS Saab will be the only thing that comes close to fitting that bill in future assuming the small issues of battery capacity and, er, stumping up the cash to close the deal are attended to.

    Speaking of points of concern, what is your #2 with Spyker-Youngman Swade?

  7. Another “framework.” Framework is PR speak for brain fart. It is what you have before a real agreement /contract is worked out. Before all those annoying details about how it can actually happen are thought of.

  8. Cool, it will be good to see Spyker release a new product. I think that the D8 is a great looking SUV. I guess the production version won’t use a GM engine.
    The projected selling price is way out of my league, but it’s only two to three times more than a Range Rover, Cayenne Turbo, G Wagon, Escalade, etc. Some may consider it a bargain.

    I hope that we will eventually see a car based on the Phoenix platform. It doesn’t matter how it’s branded (NEVS, Saab, Spyker, Youngman…). Having five different cars would be even better, but that’s just pushing the scenario to its logical conclusion: the platform was designed to accommodate multiple models in a wide range of segments. The hard part will be producing the first one. After that, the other models are almost easy. How many variations on the Golf platform does VAG sell? They’re like Pez dispensers.

  9. Even if all of this does come to pass…and that is rather dubious…Victor wins his suit against GM…Youngman & Victor start producing a vehicle on the Phoenix platform…the probability of a “r-a” vehicle (no Steven…please don’t turn on the comment filter 😉 ), otherwise known as what most of us could could put in our driveways, is between slim to none. And I am not too sure NEVS will be able to do the same either.

    I am afraid that the SAAB we all knew and loved has seen its last days. 🙁

    Time to raise a pint…or “wee dram”…or two…and move on.

  10. Wouldn’t it be interesting, if Victor and his crew, plus former loyal SAAB numbers folks, could get the information together to finally debunk the ongoing GM quote about how SAAB has lost money since forever… I’m sure the Swedish taxing authorities would love to know how GM could manage to bury any profits that might appear as taxable in Sweden… We might even see the beginnings of a criminal conspiracy going back over twenty plus years… Personally, I believe
    that GM’s accountants have been playing a shell-game with SAAB profits and costs for years…

    1. Clearly Saab Auto was making lots of profits. First Saab AB lied about it. Then Scania lied about it. Then it was GM. Finally Spyker covered up all their profits.

      Also, the moon landing didn’t happen.

  11. Haven’t I heard this story before? Youngman has money and wants to invest in Saab technology. I’ll believe when it’s done and the cars are built.

    1. Does Youngman really have money?
      All I hear is promises, promises…

      I believe this is something else than what it seems. Perhaps a way to deflect people from something…

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