Spyker Cars

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Spyker Cars
Founded1999; 25 years ago (1999)[2]
FounderMaarten de Bruijn[2]
Victor Muller[2]
Key people
Peter van Erp, COO[4]
ProductsSports cars[1]
RevenueDecrease €6.1 million (2012)[5]
Decrease (€13.8 million) (2012)[5]
Increase (€114 million) (2012)[5]
Total assetsDecrease €0.1 million (2012)[5]
Number of employees
37 (FTE, average 2012)[5]
ParentSpyker N.V. (1999 – present)[6]
Spyker N.V. logo

Spyker Cars (/ˈspkər/, Dutch pronunciation: [ˈspɛikər]) is a Dutch sports car brand held by the holding company Spyker N.V. (formerly known as Spyker Cars N.V. and Swedish Automobile N.V.). The modern Spyker Cars held the legal rights to the brand name.[2] The company's motto is "Nulla tenaci invia est via", Latin for "For the tenacious, no road is impassable".[2] The marque's logo displays an aircraft propeller superimposed over a spoked wheel, a reference to the historic Spyker company that manufactured automobiles and aircraft.[7] In 2010, the company acquired Swedish car manufacturer Saab Automobile from General Motors.[8][9]

In September 2011, Spyker announced the impending sale of its supercar division to Greenwich, Connecticut based North Street Capital,[10]

In an attempt to save Spyker from bankruptcy, Swedish Automobile in September 2011, announced the immediate sale of Spyker to American private equity and hedge fund North Street Capital for 32 million (US$41 million),[11] and subsequently changed its name to Swedish Automobile N.V.[12] However, it was later revealed that the transaction did not occur.[13]

On December 18, 2014, Spyker confirmed that it had gone bankrupt, hoping to restructure its finances and getting back on its feet.[14] The bankruptcy declaration was reverted early 2015 and the company announced to continue with the production of sports cars.[15] In 2021 it went bankrupt again.[16] In January 2022 Spyker announced a return to building cars after being backed by Russian investors.[17]


Early years

The earlier Spyker Silvestris V8

The reborn company[clarification needed] was founded by Victor Muller and Maarten de Bruijn in 1999, and since 2000, Spyker has been building exclusive sports cars like the C8 Spyder and the C8 Laviolette (with its elegant glass roof).[18] Spyker's history of producing aero engines is reflected in details in these new cars as well as in the logo.[18] Before building the C8, de Bruijn had been building small numbers of the Spyker Silvestris, which in many ways foreshadows Spyker's later cars.

The C8 Laviolette and C8 Spyder have a 4172 cc Audi V8 engine delivering 400 bhp (298 kW; 406 PS), acceleration 0–60 mph in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 300 km/h (190 mph).[19][20] On July 14, 2005, Spyker announced that the C8 had been approved for sale in the US market.[21][22]

A Spyker C8 at Salon Prive, London, England.

Between 2002 and 2006, Spyker built the C8 Double 12 S, which was available from the factory with 5 different levels of performance called Stage I (400 h.p.) through Stage V (620 h.p.), depending on the customer's need for performance.[23]

Between 2003 and 2007, Spyker built the C8 Spyder T, with the Twin turbo system being developed in conjunction with Cosworth in England.[24] These engines were capable of 525 h.p. and 0–60 mph acceleration times of 4.0 seconds.[25]

In 2005, the head designer and founder, Maarten de Bruijn, left the company, and founded Silvestris Aquamotive which builds aluminum space frame speed boats.[26][27]

In 2006, Spyker built the C12 La Turbie with a V12 engine capable of 500 horsepower and acceleration from 0–60 mph in less than 4 seconds.[28][29]

In September 2006, Spyker acquired the Midland F1 team,[30] which subsequently competed in the final three races of the 2006 season as Spyker MF1. In the 2007, the team competed as Spyker F1 using engines supplied by Ferrari. Driver Adrian Sutil was paired with Christijan Albers until the European Grand Prix where the latter was replaced by reserve driver Markus Winkelhock; the team then signed Sakon Yamamoto to fill in the slot for the rest of the year. The team itself had minimal success, suffering from multiple retirements (including double retirements in Malaysia, Canada and Brazil) before Sutil scored the team's first and only point in Japan. At the end of the season, the team was sold to a consortium named "Orange India" led by Vijay Mallya and was subsequently renamed as Force India.[31]

On May 27, 2004, Spyker Cars listed on the Euronext Amsterdam Stock Exchange at €15.50, falling to a low of €8.28 in April 2005.[32] The stock rebounded sharply in early 2006 to over €22 per share.[33][34] Early in 2007 the stock showed a sharp decline to levels beneath €13 because of financing issues.[32] As a result, several stock issues were announced to big investors. Notably, all shares have been sold at higher prices than the market price at the moment of announcement.[citation needed] On November 13, 2005, Spyker Cars and Mubadala Development Company, a principal investment company wholly owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates,[35] announced their strategic alliance, with Mubadala acquiring 17% of Spyker.[36] Mubadala has a strong relationship with sports cars, also controlling 5% of Ferrari.[37][38]

In 2007, Spyker, in collaboration with the Italian car-design firm Zagato, produced the C12 Zagato, based on the C12 La Turbie, but with more appealing body work, faster speeds, and the Zagato trademark roof bubbles.[39][40] This is perhaps the more exclusive Spyker car to date.[41]

In November 2009, Spyker announced that it would be moving production from Zeewolde to Whitley, Coventry, where assembly would be done in partnership with CPP Manufacturing.[42][43] UK production began in February 2010.[44] Due to the bankruptcy of SAAB and a falling out with business partners, the production was not moved to the UK.

Acquisition of Saab Automobile

2011 Saab 9-5, the first Saab vehicle released under Spyker ownership

In late November 2009, following the collapse of Koenigsegg Group's acquisition of Saab Automobile from General Motors (GM), Spyker placed a bid of its own to acquire Saab. General Motors (GM), receptive to the offer, entered into negotiations with Spyker and conducted an extensive due diligence effort. From this, they learned that the Swedish monetary and security agencies had uncovered ties between the family of Vladimir Antonov—a major Spyker shareholder—and organized crime syndicates engaged in money laundering. In part due to this, GM ended negotiations with Spyker on December 18, stating that it would begin a staged wind-down of operations at Saab Automobile in January if a buyer for it couldn't be found.[45]

Spyker CEO Victor Muller revived the deal by revising the company's acquisition bid and acquiring Antonov's shares via Tenaci, another company he owned.[46][47] On 26 January 2010, Spyker reached an agreement with GM to purchase Saab for US$394 million,[48][49][50] comprising US$74 million in cash and US$320 million in Spyker stock, subject to regulatory and government approval. General Motors would continue to supply Saab with engines and transmissions, and would produce the new Saab 9-4X at GM's Mexican factory. To pay the up front acquisition cost, Spyker took out a loan from the European Investment Bank and borrowed $US25 million from Convers Bank, owned by former investor Vladimir Antonov.[51]

On February 23, 2010, Spyker completed its acquisition of Saab Automobile and announced it would restructure to make both Spyker and Saab subsidiaries of a parent company called Swedish Automobile.[52][53] The restructure was completed on June 15, 2011 when shareholders agreed at the company's annual shareholder meeting to change its official name from Spyker Cars N.V. to Swedish Automobile N.V.[12]

Saab bankruptcy

By the end of 2010, however, Saab Automobile ran out of money and Spyker was unable to fund the losses. The companies stopped paying their bills in early 2011, resulting in the halting of production on March 30 due to suppliers refusing to deliver parts on credit.[54]

In February 2011, it was announced that Swedish Automobile, the Dutch owner of Saab Automobile, agreed to sell its sports car unit to Vladimir Antonov. Antonov, a former Spyker chairman and shareholder, was expected to pay 15 million euros (US$21 million) for the company.[55][56] However, in March 2011, the deal fell through,[57] with Spyker's manufacturing partner CPP Manufacturing placing a bid, but this deal fell through later that month.[58][59]

On June 8, 2011 Saab Automobile said it had stopped production due to an insufficient supply of parts. This occurred only two weeks after resuming production following a seven-week hiatus. The supply of parts stopped because Saab did not pay its suppliers. Production was due to start again on August 9.[60]

On June 23, Saab announced that it was unable to pay June salaries to the entire workforce of 3,800 due to lack of funding.[61][62] The trade union IF Metall gave Saab seven days to pay the salaries to their employees; otherwise, IF Metall threatened to force a liquidation of the company.[63][64] On June 29, Saab employees were paid.[65]

Swedish Automobile initially tried to secure funding in May 2011 via proposed joint ventures with Chinese automotive manufacturers Hawtai and Youngman, and the Chinese car dealership chain Pang Da. As negotiations had not progressed by September, Swedish Automobile offered to sell its Spyker Cars division to the American private equity firm North Street Capital for €32 million (US$41 million), but was declined.[66][67] Saab Automotive submitted a debt restructuring plan that would put the company on track to have positive equity by 2014 via a process that would involve terminating 500 employees to save €100,000.[68] The proposal was accepted by a Swedish court on October 31, 2011.[68]

On October 28, 2011, Swedish Automobile announced that it would sell Saab Automobile for €100 million (US$140 million) to Youngman and Pang Da, who would acquire 60 and 40 percent of Saab's shares, respectively.[69][70][71] On November 7, GM rejected the deal with Youngman and Pang Da to prevent them from benefiting from technology Saab had licensed from it. On December 19, following a month of unsuccessful negotiations with GM, Saab Automobile filed for bankruptcy due to being unable to find another company to acquire it.[72][73][74] Swedish Automotive attempted to prevent the liquidation of Saab by putting Spyker Cars up for sale again, but was unable to find a buyer.[13][75]

On 16 April 2012, a meeting regarding Saab's bankruptcy was held at the District Court of Vänersborg.[76] The official receivers in charge of the Saab liquidation valued its assets and debt at US$500 million and US$2 billion, respectively, leaving it with a debt of US$1.5 billion.[77] In June 2012 the company was sold to the Chinese-Swedish investment group National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS),[78] after which Swedish Automotive N.V. was renamed Spyker N.V.


On August 6, 2012, Spyker announced that it would sue GM over the Saab bankruptcy,[79] with CEO Muller stating, "Ever since we were forced to file for Saab Automobile's bankruptcy in December of last year, we have worked relentlessly on the preparation for this lawsuit which seeks to compensate Spyker and Saab for the massive damages we have incurred as a result of GM's unlawful actions." In June 2013, the US$3 billion claim was heard in Detroit, Michigan before US federal Gershwin Drain, who dismissed it on the basis that "General Motors had a contractual right to approve or disapprove the proposed transaction" due to Spyker having given GM the right to veto any change of ownership in the Saab acquisition agreement.[80] Spyker's appeal of the ruling was heard at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati on October 24, 2014. Judge Eugene Siler ruled in favor of GM, stating that the company's blocking of the sale of Saab had not been malicious, but rather based upon "legitimate business concerns" about who would benefit from Saab's use of GM technology.[81]

On August 27, 2012, Spyker announced that Youngman had acquired a 29.9% stake in the company for €10 million (US$12.5 million).[82][83][84] Two joint ventures between Spyker and Youngman were announced, Spyker P2P and Spyker Phoenix, with Spyker having 25% and 20% stakes in them, respectively.[85] Spyker P2P would develop new luxury sports utility vehicles,[84] while Spyker Phoenix would develop a range of premium cars based on the Saab PhoeniX platform.[84]

In March 2013, the B6 Venator was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, the B6 Venator was noted as Spyker's first concept car in nearly four years.[86]

On September 16, 2013, Spyker N.V. lost its listing on Euronext Amsterdam after failing to undergo a restructuring agreement.[87]

On November 5, 2014, the Central Netherlands District Court ordered Spyker to leave the factory it had been renting within seven days and pay its owner €152,000 in overdue rent.[88] The claim was made by Jacques Walch, the owner of the factory rented by Spyker. Despite this, CEO Victor Muller insisted the company would be able to pay its bills "in a matter of days."[89]

On 2 December 2014 Spyker NV was granted a moratorium of payment (financial restructuring) by the Central Netherlands District Court. Spyker needed protection from creditors for its liquidity problems. Victor R. Muller, Spyker founder and chief executive, said "Over the past few years, Spyker has faced a number of serious difficulties and challenges resulting from, among others, the legacy of the F1 era and the acquisition of Saab Automobile AB,".[90]

On December 2, 2014, Spyker filed a voluntary petition to financially restructure ("surseance van betaling") to address short-term operational and liquidity challenges, the Dutch equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[91] The Central Netherlands District Court initially declared the company bankrupt on 18 December, but reversed course on 29 January, 2015 after Spyker appealed the decision. The court granted Spyker's petition and appointed an administrator to work with the Board of Management in managing the company's affairs until the completion of its restructure. The court's ruling granted the company a moratorium of payment to protect its assets from seizure by creditors for the duration of the restructure.

On May 13 Spyker closed a deal with the creditors—to whom it owed a combined €44 million—to pay them €12,000 each. Saab GB, the largest creditor with €24.9 million at stake, agreed to receive a payment of €61,000.[92] A later attempt by the Latvian bank Lizings to claim more money was declined by the court.[93][94]

On July 29, 2015, Spyker completed its restructuring plan and resumed regular business operations.[95] In March 2016, Spyker announced the production of a new model, the C8 Preliator, at the Geneva Motor Show.

In January 2021, Spyker filed for bankruptcy again.[96]


Spyker C8 Aileron


Spyker C8

The C8 Spyder was the original base model with an Audi 4.2 litre V8 engine. Since the start of its production in 2000, twelve different variants have been sold. A long wheelbase version was presented at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, called the C8 Aileron. A year later, a convertible version was presented.[97] Horsepower ranges from 400 for the original C8 Spyder to 620 for the C8 Double 12S.

The most recent model, the C8 Preliator, was officially announced at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Only 50 vehicles will be produced. The car has a 4.2l supercharged Audi V8 producing 525 hp, resulting in a 0–100 km/h time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 322 km/h. The car either comes with a 6 speed manual Getrag or a 6 speed ZF automatic transmission. As with previous Spyker models, the car has typical aviation inspired design elements such as NACA styled air-inlets. Driver technology has been upgraded as well compared to previous models, with the C8 Preliator gaining a heads-up display and bluetooth connectivity for phones.[98][99]

Spyker C12

Spyker C12 Zagato.

The Spyker C12 is a luxury sports car of which there were two variants.[97] Spyker originally planned a small production run, but only one prototype of each car was built.


Spyker D12/D8

Spyker D12 Peking-to-Paris.

In 2006, the Spyker D12 Peking-to-Paris high-performance SUV, was announced at the Geneva Motor Show.[100] But the mass-production, which was slated for a mid-2008 production, was delayed and the V12 engine from the concept car has been changed to a Volkswagen W12 engine at around 500 bhp (373 kW; 507 PS). Its name was then changed to the D8.[101]

Spyker hoped that the assistance of Saab, which they owned at the time, would help the D8 reach production.[101] According to Muller in April 2011, the D8 should have started production in early 2013, with a price tag of £186,000.[102] However, in March 2013, production was scheduled for 2016, with a production prototype due by 2014.[86] Eventually, plans to produce the model were discontinued.

Spyker E8/E12

Spyker shareholders and CEO, Victor Muller hinted at a Maserati Quattroporte, Porsche Panamera rival with an eight-cylinder (the E8) or a twelve-cylinder (the E12) engine but due to problems getting the D8 into production, the idea was ignored until 2009 when Muller has said he "believes now could be the time to resurrect the saloon."[103] Muller believed it would take about four years from the time that the E8/E12 is revealed to actual production. It was never produced however.[103]



Spyker's all-time high was achieved in 2006, with 94 cars sold, about 290 cars were sold between 2000 and 2010.[104][105][106]

Calendar Year Total Sales
2000 1
2001 2
2002 3
2003 12
2004 31
2005 48
2006 94
2007 26
2008 43
2009 36
2010 "Pending"
2011 12
2012 2
2013 0
2014 0

Financial results

Spyker lost money each year since 2007. This table summarizes the key figures of Spyker Cars from 2007 to 2012. The figures originate from the Spyker Annual Report in 2011 and 2012.[5]

in millions
Year Turnover Company-
per year end
Number employees
in FTE (x 1)
2007 €5,1 € -29,7 € -71,3 €25,6 9,7 166
2008 €7,9 € -21,8 € -24,8 €24,9 15,6 132
2009 €6,8 € -19,2 € -22,9 €2,6 15,9 131
2010 €3,3 € -64,1 € -218,3 € -206,5 17,5 55
2011 €1,5 € -13,8 €16,1 € -151,2 36,0 56
2012 €0,7 € -6,1 €114,4 €0,1 373,9 37
2014 €0,0 €0,0 € -44,0 €0,0 0,0 0
2015 €0,0 €0,0 €0,0 €0,0 0,0 0


Spyker Squadron's Spyker C8 Laviolette GT2-R at the 2008 1000 km of Silverstone
Spyker Squadron's Spyker C8 Laviolette GT2-R at the 2008 1000 km of Silverstone

Spyker F1

On September 9, 2006, Spyker bought Midland F1 Racing, a Formula One team from Canadian businessman Alex Shnaider. Spyker paid US$106.6 million for the team[107] which was renamed Spyker MF1 Team for the last three races of the 2006 Formula One season. As part of the deal, the cars had a revised livery for the final three races of 2006.

On August 14, 2007, Spyker Cars announced that it would have to sell all or part of the team due to a potential split of the team from its parent company.[108]

On September 3, 2007, Indian billionaire Dr Vijay Mallya (Chairman and CEO of Toyota sponsors Kingfisher Airlines) and Dutch entrepreneur Michiel Mol (Spyker's Formula One Director), stated the Spyker board had accepted their offer and became the new owners of the Spyker Formula One team,[109] which was renamed as Force India Formula One Team for the 2008 season.

Spyker Squadron

The Spyker Squadron was the factory racing team, competing in events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Le Mans Series, occasional entries in the FIA GT Championship, and the 12 hours of Sebring. Spyker also supplied a car to Swiss Spyker distributor, Speedy Garages, running under the name Speedy Racing Team.


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External links