Manufacturing News

Spyker, Youngman to produce Saab-based cars, luxury SUV

Dutch sports car company Spyker Cars NV says it will form two joint ventures with China's Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co. to build Saab-based cars and a luxury SUV under a framework agreement that will give Youngman a 29.9 percent share in Spyker.

Youngman was one of the Chinese companies Spyker turned to for investment when it was trying to revive the Saab brand under its ownership.

After failing to get approval for the sale from General Motors, a former Saab owner, the deal with Youngman collapsed and Saab was declared bankrupt last December.

Under terms of the agreement announced Monday, the two companies will develop a range of upscale cars based on the Saab Phoenix platform, which is licensed to Youngman. The Chinese company will hold 80 percent of the shares in the brand, which has been dubbed Spyker Phoenix, while Spyker will hold 20 percent of the stock.

Both carmakers also will invest in a joint venture to develop a luxury Spyker SUV, based on the D8 Peking-to-Paris concept model, first shown in 2006 at the Geneva auto show.

In a statement Monday, Spyker said Youngman would invest 25 million euros (198 million yuan) in the project, granting it 75 percent of the shares, while Spyker would contribute the technology and retain 25 percent of the shares.

"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," Spyker CEO Victor Muller said in the statement.

In addition to the two joint ventures, Youngman will pay 53 million yuan for a 29.9 percent equity stake in Spyker and make a shareholder loan of 26 million yuan to the Dutch carmaker.

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