IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Muller unknown in Spykerland

Swedish news agency TT has visited the home town of Spyker Cars, Zeewolde, and talked with some of the town's citizens. And the conclusion is that Victor Muller is more known in Sweden than in Zeewolde!

The articles published in Dagens Industri is an entertaining read and below is a English translation for you to enjoy too.

Muller unknown in Spykerland
Saab and Spyker chief Victor Muller may be a star on the newspaper's financial pages in Sweden. But in Spyker's hometown, Dutch Zeewolde, he is somewhat of an unknown.

In the burger restaurant by the town square, where there is a tulip decorated cow statue, nobody of the guests have heard of Victor Muller.

57-year-old carpenter John Pot looks bewildered.
"Victor Muller? Who? Nah, that name is unknown to me."

"But he probably doesn’t know who I am either so it evens out," he says with a laugh.

When John Pot are told that Muller is the Director of Spyker Cars, and now both the Chairman and CEO of Saab Automobile he nods. He knows about the company's problems.

"I heard on the radio that it’s not going so well for Saab, and that they will get help from China."

Lynn Fluit, mother of three and 28 years old describes Zeewolde as quiet, safe and boring.

"There is really nothing here. But it's good for the kids," she says.

She knows that Spyker bought Saab, but Victor Muller sounds unfamiliar.

"I'm sorry. I have never heard of him. He is not known in Zeewolde," she says.

Nor postman Monica Bakker, 45, who has lived all her life in Zeewolde, knows who Victor Muller is. But she has seen Spyker cars drive past on the roads sometimes.

"They tend to drive fast," she notes.

The taxi driver Cor Swart from Almere, half an hour away, has to use the GPS to help finding Spyker’s headquarters on the city's outskirts. It is a fairly small building located in a corner surrounded by fences.

In the Dutch media Spyker and Victor Muller have been a followed for several years and the Saab deal has been portrayed frequently, but not as massive as in Sweden.

"It's a bit of a cowboy story," says Anna Ferschtman, a journalist from the Dutch news agency ANP.

Yvonne Hofs from the newspaper de Volkskrant has followed the Saab-Spyker story and has also been in Trollhättan.

"Mr. Muller is the cat with nine lives and a master at finding money. Spyker has been counted out many times and then the company buys Saab. Unbelievable," she says.

"To follow all that happens is like a roller coaster. But at least it never gets boring," she says.

Facts - Spyker Cars in Zeewolde
Zeewolde with around 20 000 inhabitants is located about fifty km east of Amsterdam.

The city is only 30 years old and was created by land reclamation.
Spyker Cars is located in an industrial area outside the city.
The building was initially used to build racing cars before Spyker moved in with their production of high-end sports cars in the early 2000s.

Last year a transfer of the actual production to CPP in the UK, a major subcontractor owned by Russian financier Vladimir Antonov, was begun.

CPP has signed a letter of intent to buy the Spyker sports car business.

At the General Meeting recently it was decided that the parent company Spyker Cars which bought Saab Automobile in February 2010, will change its name to Swedish Automobile.