Spyker announces Saab jobs boost

Swedish carmaker Saab aims to expand production sixfold over the next two years, and outlined plans to increase its workforce by 500, the firm's new owners, Spyker Cars, said on Wednesday.

The chief executive of Dutch Spyker cars, Victor Muller, told journalists that Saab could count on financial support totalling $1.0 billion and would become profitable in 2012.

Saab was rescued by Spyker Cars in last-minute negotiations in January when the owner, US group General Motors, was about to close the business down as part of its own efforts to recover from bankruptcy.

Spyker Cars, a small company making sports cars, paid about $400 million for Saab, of which about $75 million was in cash and the rest in shares.

Saab makes up-market saloon cars, and in Sweden its brand has importance going beyond merely the name of a product. But GM had struggled ever to make a profit and in recent years sales had fallen.

In 2009, the company made 20,000 cars and sold 39,000, drawing in part on stocks. Muller said that inventories were now low.

The company intended to produce 120,000 cars a year in 2012, returning to the production level achieved in 2007, and to sell 50,000 to 55,000 cars this year.

The company expected to employ an extra 500 people towards the end of this year, taking the workforce to 4,000. The production capacity at the factory at

Trollhättan in the south west of the country would be increased to produce slightly more than 50,000 cars per year.

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