Saab’s new owner, Dutch sports car maker Spyker Cars, would like the Swedish brand to develop a new, small mode – but it will have to be something as iconic as the Mini.
It would also have to raise the cash and most likely find a development partner, Spyker chief executive Victor Mueller said, adding: “and it has to be a real Saab.”
Mueller told Spyker shareholders that production at Saab is on track, two months after the sports car maker bought the loss-making Swedish brand from General Motors.
Saab Chief Executive Jan Ake Jonsson told shareholders at Spyker’s annual meeting that the carmaker would meet its target of 50,000 sales this year.
Jonsson said that to meet these goals Saab would ramp up productivity in June beyond its original plan. Spyker bought Saab from GM for US$400m in February, setting itself a challenge of turning two loss-making carmakers into one profitable global company.
Muller said Saab’s break even point should be sales of 85,000 cars a year by 2012; analysts have said the company must sell at least 75,000 cars a year to be cash flow positive.
The company needs to raise further finance to go beyond its current plans but Muller made clear he would like to expand Saab’s line-up into the compact segment, with something smaller than the 9-3.
He said: “The Saab 9-2 is clearly on the forefront of our priorities.” However, Muller added that to add such a car, Saab would need substantial new capital and also a partner with whom to design and produce it. He said the model would also have to stand out sharply from the other cars in the segment.
In an exclusive interview with just-auto (undertaken by Mark ‘Coolbear’ Bursa) last month, Victor Muller spoke of his future hopes for Saab and a new Mini-like retro entry-level model.