Published on August 28th, 2012 | by James Allen0
Spyker and Youngman announce radical new partnership
Though Saab’s Phoenix platform never saw the light of day before the Swedish company collapsed, it does appear to have a future. In an ‘out-of-the-blue’ announcement by Spyker and Chinese car firm Youngman, the technology will soon be underpinning an array of new models.
The agreement by Victor Muller of Spyker and Pang Qingnian of Youngman highlights an alliance between the two companies, with the Chinese firm set to become the main investor and majority owner of the proposed projects that are allegedly in the pipelines.
The first of these targets is a joint venture called “Spyker P2P B.V”, which aims to bring to market the Spyker D8 SUV that was unveiled as a concept car at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show. Youngman will invest in stages a total of £20 million into Spyker P2P (which will translate into roughly 75% of the shares), and in return the Dutch sports car maker will transfer the technology that underpinned the D8, in the hopes it’ll materialise into a “£158,000 four-door Super Sports Utility Vehicle” in 2014.
The second part of the agreement focuses more on using the Phoenix platform that was fully developed only just before Saab was declared bankrupt in 2011. The announcement entails that, as part of the ‘Spyker BV’ project, the platform will underpin “a new full range of premium vehicles” that will be sold under the ‘Spyker Phoenix’ brand, with Youngman owning approximately 80% of the venture.
On top of all this, Youngman is to invest a further £10 million into Spyker itself, which would prove useful in keeping the Dutch manufacturer up and running, especially as it’s got to finance its court action against General Motors, along with having to source another engine supplier.
It’s an incredibly risky strategy, this, but it does have the potential to work if all goes well. After all, both parties are committed on making these ambitious proposals a success, and given the craze for luxury SUVs at the moment, especially in China, the D8 Peking-To-Paris could end up being Spyker’s saving grace.
It also ticks all the right boxes to win over the hearts and minds of key figures in China, most noticeably the Chinese government, who’d only permit an investment of this size and risk if it benefitted the Far Eastern nation in some way.
If all goes well, Youngman’s presence in these ventures would generate a healthy financial return if things go according to plan, and the fact the premium Phoenix-based cars could be built in China and sold to a global market makes it even more enticing from their mindset.
It certainly has the potential to succeed, but a lot can happen in the two years Spyker and Youngman expect it’ll take to get the D8 into a production-ready state, and even more can happen in the time afterwards.
Either way, it’s going to be very interesting to see what Spyker and Youngman can do with the last surviving remnants of Saab, and if the fortunes of the Swedish-firm’s former step-dad and its new business partner can rise like a phoenix from the ashes of last year’s infamous debacle.