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Spyker in talks with BMW

2010-09-28 14:58

Amsterdam - Saab owner and luxury car maker Spyker is in talks with German peer BMW about parts and technology in a move that could help it reach a goal of trebling sales volumes.

Loss-making Saab, which was bought early this year by Dutch-listed Spyker from U.S.-based General Motors, is scheduled to sign a deal on Wednesday, Dutch public broadcaster NOS said, citing sources at the two car makers.

Spyker, which has never made a profit since its establishment in 2000, aims to boost sales at Saab to 120 000 cars per year in the long term from 40 000 last year.

"Spyker Cars N.V. ... has noted recent press speculation about the possible supply relationship with BMW. The Group confirms that talks are ongoing and will give further details once a final agreement has been reached," Spyker said in a statement.

Saab said it will make an announcement on Wednesday and hold a news conference in Sweden, while a BMW spokesman referred to the Saab conference and said it was in talks with other manufacturers "every now and then".

Saab wants to focus on building a smaller car using BMW technology, NOS said on Monday.

Spyker said in February, when it bought Saab, that the Swedish car maker would look at options of adding a fourth, smaller, car line to its three existing lines, and additional financing for this model could be needed.

"If a party (such) as BMW enters an alliance and has access to the books and can do some due diligence to know they won't be surprised it certainly gives hope." Keijser Capital trader Peter Jurgens said.

"Sharing costs"

A deal could help Spyker obtain new technology and help it cope with a negative shareholders equity value of 126 million euros, as liabilities surpassed assets in June.

Car makers globally are keen on partnerships to develop cars or exchange technology to save costs.

This summer, France's Renault-Nissan Alliance and India's Bajaj Auto and the duo Mitsubishi Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen signed deals to jointly develop cars.

"The biggest costs for a car maker are marketing and development. If you can share development with others it will quickly help cut costs," said trader Jurgens.

Saab could continue to use GM technology despite the change of ownership but was also free to use parts of other car makers, a Saab spokesman said. Saab's 9-5 model uses about 30 percent GM parts or technology

In June, a Swedish daily reported that Saab was in talks with BMW to use its engines and transmissions in a new version of the 9-2 model.



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