Spyker celebrates Saab coup but could struggle to make a profit

DUTCH luxury sportscar maker Spyker may be the unlikely buyer of Saab but it will struggle with the real challenge: converting two loss-making companies into a profitable one.

After months of tortuous negotiations, Spyker sealed a deal with General Motors to buy Saab for $74m (£46m) cash and $326m in deferred shares, sparking celebrations at its headquarters in the small Dutch town of Zeewolde. Spyker chief executive Victor Muller also bought out his largest shareholder, bank tycoon Victor Antonov, as part of the deal.

But the new Saab Spyker Automobiles faces huge challenges -- persistent losses, outdated designs, high labour costs, declining sales and, perhaps above all, little belief in the industry that it can pull off a turnaround.