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Spyker settles tax debt, cancels auction of assets

07/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Earnings/Financials, Spyker

Spyker B6 Venator Spyder Concept

News hit last week that Spyker appeared to be in trouble. Citing an outstanding tax bill, local authorities had apparently seized an array of the company's assets - including racecars, road cars, concept cars and spare parts - and were selling them off in order to pay off the company's debt. It now seems, however, that Spyker is in the clear. In a statement sent to Autoblog, Spyker CEO Victor Muller said:

There is no auction or issue, and this should never have been news. A business tax dispute was settled and paid last Wednesday, yet the authorities took nearly five full days to process the payment. During this time, there was a website link to an auction that caused negative press for Spyker Cars. That link has finally been removed and the authorities have confirmed their receipt of payment.

So there we have it: everything's hunky-dory over at Spyker HQ in Zeewolde. The company has apparently settled its debts and is raising capital through a bond issue. But Spyker is more than a holding company (especially since offloading Saab), it's an automaker, and sooner or later it's going to need to produce an actual car.

To that effect, Muller continues: "Spyker Cars remains on track with the production of the B6 Venator and will be releasing additional details in the near future." So we'll have to wait at least a little while longer to find out how Spyker's new project (pictured above in Spyder concept form) is progressing, but for now it seems that things are at least moving in a forward direction. Or, at least, not in reverse.

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Spyker liquidating assets doesn't bode well

07/06/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Auctions, Spyker

Spyker C8 Aileron

If there's any company that's faced some ups and downs, surely it's Spyker. The Dutch coachbuilder originally started out in 1880 and shut down in 1926, laying dormant until resurfacing in 1999. Things were going alright until Spyker tried running its own F1 team (which as fellow niche European sports car manufacturers Caterham and Marussia could tell you, is not a good idea) then set its sights on Saab. Of course we all know how that turned out and nearly drove the company into bankruptcy.

Now Spyker is back to its core business with plans for a new model, but it appears that its past troubles are not behind it quite yet. Reports from the Netherlands indicate that local tax authorities have quite the bill to settle with Spyker, forcing the Dutch automaker to auction off some of its assets.

Among those items being auctioned off to settle Spyker's debts are a 2007 Spyker-Ferrari F8-VII grand prix car, a C8 sports racer, a handful of new C8 Ailerons, a rare D12 Peking-to-Paris SUV concept (which may or may not finally reach production some day) and a stockpile of 85 Audi V8 engines and transmissions.

The sale represents a unique opportunity for collectors, but while our Dutch compatriots at Autoblog.nl cite Spyker sources as refuting any association between the auction and a potentially looming bankruptcy, it doesn't appear to speak well of the company's financial wellbeing.

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Buy a Spyker bond, get a Venator

03/09/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Earnings/Financials, Spyker, Luxury

Spyker B6 Venator Concept

Crowd-funding projects are quickly emerging as the way to get things done in the tech business, and the idea is even jumping into other fields as well. But it hasn't exactly caught on just yet in the automotive industry. A few months ago we reported on a crowd-funding campaign to revive the Castle Three Motor Company to build a retro trike roadster similar to the Morgan 3 Wheeler, and various outfits have attempted to harness the public's contributions to jump-start electric vehicle development. But while those projects haven't gotten very far (as of yet), Spyker very well could.

For those unfamiliar, Spyker is a Dutch sports car manufacturer that has taken on some rather ambitious projects. It's produced successive versions of the C8 over the years, but canceled plans for the Zagato-designed C12, has repeatedly postponed plans for a high-end SUV, got in over its head with its own Formula One team and ultimately had to divest itself from the sinking ship that was Saab. But now it's trying to get back on track with the B6 Venator.

Expected to be half as expensive as the $300k+ C8 Aileron, the new B6 was unveiled in concept form at last year's Geneva Motor Show and as a Spyder roadster concept at Pebble Beach just months later. Production is scheduled to gear up later this year, with the first US deliveries to follow next year. While the C8 often arrives in collections as an owner's seventh or eighth car, the B6 will more likely be a buyer's third or fourth.

Spyker says it's amassing orders, but in order to actually start production, it needs capital. That's why it's turning to a rather unconventional way of financing the project. Rather than simply taking deposits to get started, Spyker is selling bonds. Each of the 100 bonds will be priced at £100,000 ($167,000 at today's rates) and be redeemable for one Spyker B6 Venator, which itself will be priced at £125,000 - a quarter more than what the bonds are being sold for. Alternatively, investors will have the option to cash out the bond after three or four years, or turn it into stock if Spyker issues an IPO.

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Official: Spyker promises B6 Venator Spyder reveal this year

05/02/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Convertibles, Sports/GTs, Spyker, Luxury

Spyker B6 Venator Concept

Tucked in the middle of a very long business update press release, Spyker has confirmed that it will unveil a topless version of the B6 Venator Concept that we first saw in coupe form at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. A specific launch timeframe has not been given, other than the ultra-vague "later this year," but we'll bet our bottom dollar that the open-top B6 will show its face at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September.

Spyker states that the launch of the B6 marks "the beginning of a new era for the brand, one that will include a significant increase in production." The B6 will go into production in 2014, with the first cars being allocated for Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and India. Production of US-spec models will kick off in the fall of 2014.

We don't imagine the specs will change from the coupe, meaning the mid-mounted V6 with 375 horsepower should still be offered in the Spyder. A key factor to the coupe's performance is lightness (the whole package weighs in at just 3,100 pounds), and while we don't imagine the Spyder will be a porker, some sort of folding top mechanism and its associated bracing will no doubt add weight.

We'll keep our ear to the ground for more details before the car's unveiling later this year. For now, scroll down for a full business update in Spyker's press release.

Continue reading Spyker promises B6 Venator Spyder reveal this year

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Opinion: Spyker: It's not just about numbers

04/13/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Coupes, Sports/GTs, Spyker, Special/Limited Editions, Design/Style

A Compelling Story Counts As Much As Performance

Spyker Victor Muller

Muller believes there's room for small, boutique exotics like Spyker.

Following his ill-fated efforts to save Saab, Victor Muller is again back at Spyker Cars as CEO working hard on a comeback for the Dutch-based maker of exotic cars.

You could say he's a dreamer, like his fellow countryman Henrik Fisker. But having established Spyker as a credible player in the ultra-exclusive exotic car niche and tempered by his experience at Saab, Muller is also a realist about both the capital requirements and the complexities in building automobiles. As volumes grow, the chance increases that even the littlest mistake can derail the whole enterprise.

Muller believes there's room for small, boutique exotics like Spyker, Pagani and Koenigsegg in a market saturated by supercars from players like Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, VW Group's Bugatti and even Lexus with its LF-A.


Matt DeLorenzo is the former editor-in-chief of Road & Track and has covered the auto industry for 35 years, including stints at Automotive News and AutoWeek. He has authored books including VW's New Beetle, Chrysler's Modern Concept Cars, and Corvette Dynasty.


Continue reading Spyker: It's not just about numbers

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Report: Spyker C8 Aileron to come back with supercharged power?

03/08/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Audi, GM, Spyker, Luxury

Spyker C8 Aileron

The new B6 Venator wasn't the only vehicle on display at the Spyker booth at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The company still has its C8 Aileron on offer, and Road & Track has word of a potential powerplant upgrade for the long-running machine.

Since its introduction in the year 2000, the C8 has used a 4.2-liter V8 engine sourced from Audi, which, in base form, offers up 400 horsepower. Though it's a great powerpant, that's simply not enough power in this day and age - after all, if a car is going to be called super, it needs to offer more ponies than something as mundane as the Ford Mustang GT.

According to R&T, John Walton, Chief Commercial Officer at Spyker, indicated that a new engine supplier may be in the works. "[The Audi-sourced V8] really hasn't got enough bang for the buck. To be honest, every supercar needs to have something that begins with a '5' today. That's why we're supercharging the car in the future, which will take it to over 500-hp," said Walton.

Assuming Spyker doesn't decide to supercharge Audi's V8 itself, where will that supercharged engine come from? We have no idea, though with legal wrangling still in process it seems a bit unlikely to come from General Motors, although its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 would seemingly make an excellent choice.

On the other hand, if GM's engine is the best option available, Spyker could potentially buy complete supercharged crate engines directly from GM Performance Parts in either 556- (LSA) or 638-horsepower (LS9) iterations, and it probably doesn't need explicit approval to do so. In any case, we're just postulating. Only time will tell what, if any, new engine Spyker will bestow upon its C8 Aileron.

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Report: Is this the Spyker B6 Venator Concept?

03/02/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Coupes, Sports/GTs, Geneva Motor Show, Spyker

Spyker B6 Venator

The car you see above may in fact be the Spyker B6 Venator Concept that's headed for a debut at the Geneva Motor Show early next week. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, which included this image, the car will use a mid-mounted 375-horsepower V6 engine and is about the size of the Porsche Boxster.

With a weight of just 3,080 pounds, though, those ponies are moving just 8.21 pounds apiece, which puts the B6 Venator in a dead power-to-weight heat with the 911 Carerra. That said, Spyker's Victor Muller tells WSJ that this will not be a "Porsche killer."

So, what underpins the new Spyker? WSJ points out that the car's specifications are very close to those of the Lotus Evora S, and we know that the British boutique automaker is happy to lend engineering support where it's necessary. We don't know for sure what the B6 Venator is based on, but Muller reportedly pegged his role in the process as "designer." In any case, we're sure the B6 will have all the aero-inspired detailing of past Spyker models. It will reportedly be priced between 125,000 and 150,000 euros, with production "in the hundreds."

WSJ also says we are to expect a P2P (Peking-to-Paris) super-sport-utility vehicle based on Saab's unused Phoenix architecture with financial backing from China's Youngman, as we've previously heard.

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Report: Spyker looking to get back on its feet with 911-fighter?

02/02/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sports/GTs, Geneva Motor Show, Spyker, Luxury

Spyker Emblem

Word has it Spyker is headed to this year's Geneva Motor Show with a new model designed to compete against the Porsche 911. Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports the automaker is prepared to reveal a new model with a smaller footprint and price tag than the current C8 Aileron. Details are otherwise hard to come by at the moment, but we imagine Spyker is keen to shake off the dust of the Saab implosion and push forward. Spyker CEO Victor Muller, while speaking with De Telegraaf, said only the new model "will surprise you."

Spyker has been noticeably absent from the Geneva Motor Show for the past two years, thanks in part to its attempts to keep Saab afloat. Those efforts eventually failed, leaving the Swedish automaker in bankruptcy. Still, we'll be interested to see what Spyker has in store for visitors to the Geneva Motor Show. Stay tuned for our live coverage from the floor when press days kick off on March 5.

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Official: Saab's Phoenix platform to get second life with Spyker/Youngman deal?

12/10/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, SUVs, China, Euro, Earnings/Financials, Spyker, Luxury

Who knew that Jay Z was talking about Spyker founder and CEO Victor Muller when he sang, "I'm a hustla, baby, I just want you to know, it ain't where I been but where I'm 'bout to go..." The visionary Dutchman has concluded a deal with with Youngman - a partner since the whirlwind days of Saab - to inject money into Spyker, build cars off the Phoenix platform intended for Saab, and resurrect the D8 Peking to Paris SUV and potentially other SUVs. The deal was conditionally announced a few months ago.

The multipart deal begins with Youngman investing ten million euros into Spyker. Seven million of that will be used to purchase no more than 29.9 percent of Spyker shares, the other three million will be an open-ended loan with options for repayment mechanisms. Youngman has already handed over 2.3 million euros of the amount, the rest is expected by the end of January 2013.

Next up is a joint venture called Spyker P2P, of which Spyker will control 25 percent and Youngman the rest. The Chinese company is throwing another 25 million euros into the JV, Spyker is providing not cash but "the technology it developed for the Spyker D8 Peking-to-Paris," the $250,000 SSUV. Spyker P2P wants to launch the perpetually stillborn D8 by the end of 2014 and will then consider other models on its platform, and the continued development of the C8 Aileron is also a factor in future plans.

After that comes the Spyker Phoenix joint venture, in which Spyker has a 20-percent stake and Youngman the rest. Youngman owns the license to the Phoenix platform that was meant to support new Saabs and this JV will build "a full range of premium car models" on it, at higher price points than the planned Saabs, and possibly built in Europe and China.

The final joint venture is Spyker Trademark Company, Youngman again a majority owner with a 75 percent share and Spyker the remainder. This JV gives all of the other JVs the rights to use the Spyker trademark.

Assuming the due diligence passes muster and the legal authorities consent, Youngman will possess the authority to nominate a third of both Spyker's management and supervisory boards, and Spyker and Youngman will be putting all their technology and resources into each others' hands. There's a press release below with all the finance-heavy details.

Continue reading Saab's Phoenix platform to get second life with Spyker/Youngman deal?

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Official: Spyker and Youngman sign deal, plan to build D8 SUV and Phoenix-based range

08/27/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Sports/GTs, SUVs, China, Euro, Saab, Spyker, Luxury, Off-Road

Spyker SSUV concept - studio view - front three-quarter view

It appears Spyker is strengthen its ties and carmaking ability with Chinese carmaker Youngman. This comes in the wake of the brand's latest dealings with a $3 billion lawsuit against General Motors regarding the demise of Saab.

Youngman is reportedly investing €10,000,000 ($12.5M USD) for a 29.9-percent stake in the company. The shares are being sold for €0.05 (6.3 cents) each, representing a fully diluted share. Youngman has said it will not take on more than the 29.9-percent stake.

Additionally, Youngman will invest €25,000,000 ($31M) for the development of an all-new Spyker vehicle, called the D8 P2P, named for the Peking-to-Paris rally. The vehicle had been shown as a concept by Spyker previously, but things had been quiet since then. It appears Spyker will now build the uniquely styled D8 Concept shown above. The vehicle is to launch at the end of 2014 and carry a price of $250,000 per vehicle.

It also appears a second car range will be built, based on the Phoenix platform. Though Saab may have, for all intents and purposes, gone under, Spyker has transferred the licensing rights of the Phoenix platform (the architecture that was to underpin the next 9-3) to... itself. According to Youngman's CEO Pang Qingnian, "We have felt all along that a cooperation with Spyker had to be pursued, even after we both unjustifiably lost the opportunity to restructure Saab," he continued, "with this agreement, many of our original intentions with the Saab brand will take shape."

So while we continue to see the developments of Spyker's relationship with the Chinese automaker, it will be interesting to see just what vehicles develop under this deal - both for the Spyker brand as well as for Youngman.

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