Spyker CEO Clears The Air About Saab, Looks Ahead To 9-4X Page 2

May 10, 2011

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Little-known Hawtai saves Saab

Overall, Spyker secured about 150 million euros ($215 million) of additional funding that can go into the company whenever it's needed. As part of the deal, China's Hawtai Motor Group gets a nearly 30-percent stake in Saab and would get production rights for some Saab models in its home market (beginning with the former version of the 9-5).

Ultimately, Muller takes the blame for not anticipating the trouble. "There's only one person to blame for this, and that's me; because I should have been prepared," he said. "It should have never happened. But it did."

Muller said that he had already been working to get more money onboard, with negotiations with the Chinese beginning earlier in the fall.

New 9-4X being built, but Swedish production not quite back rolling

Production in Sweden could restart as early as next week, Saab officials estimate, with the automaker's Trollhattan plant making the 9-5 sedan, and a 9-5 SportCombi on the way in the next month (due to the U.S. in September). All while plans push ahead for an all-new Saab 9-3 that will bow about a year from now.

Ahead of that, production began early this week on the first 2011 Saab 9-4X crossover models—at GM's Ramos Arizpe, Mexico plant, alongside the Cadillac SRX. Ramos Arizpe has in recent years assembled the Chevrolet HHR, the former versions of the Chevrolet Equinox (and Pontiac Torrent), the Saturn Vue, and the Pontiac Aztek, among others. GM has committed to be able to build up to 12,000 9-4X models annually at Ramos, with much of that capacity

Will the new 9-4X give Saab a good foothold on the crossover market? Stay tuned for a first drive later this week. 

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