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Big Auto News; Spyker Nabs Saab, Toyota Eats Crow

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On: Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 12:16PM | By: John Welch

Big Auto News; Spyker Nabs Saab, Toyota Eats Crow

Two huge developments over the last 24 hours, one of which is good, the other, well, not so good. GM has finally unloaded beleaguered Saab, and the little Super-Car company that could, Spyker, is the proud new parent. On a slightly more somber note, Toyota has suspended sales of all of its domestically made vehicles. In other words, no Scions or Lexi, but everything else wearing a Toyota badge . . .

Spyker C12 Zagato

Spyker, tenacious indeed!

Spyker Cars, small Dutch manufacturer of lusty car-stag (take a look at those pedals), has finally put an end the annoying Saab debacle. The transaction, subject to a 400 million euro ($563 million) European Investment Bank loan for Saab, will probably be completed in February, enabling Saab to halt a wind-down, GM and Spyker said today. Spyker will pay $74 million in cash and $326 million in preferred shares in the new company that would emerge from the deal, called Saab Spyker Automobiles.

"The future of Saab is still very uncertain," said Mike Tyndall, a European automotive analyst with Nomura Securities in London. "Spyker saved them for now, but they still have to address the underlying problems of the business, which are lack of scale and lack of profit."

Yeah, yeah, and we all know this is going to fall through before the end of the month, but geez, let's just revel in Saab's temporary stay of execution while it lasts . . .

Will your Camry kill you?!Toyota dumps recalls in favor of outright sales stoppage!

Eight Toyota cars and trucks have pedals that are faulty enough to make Toyota cease sales of these models altogether. Das ist not goot. The recall/sales freeze affects the 2009-2010 RAV4, the 2009-2010 Corolla, the 2009-2010 Matrix, the 2005-2010 Avalon, the 2007-2010 Camry, the 2010 Highlander, the 2007-2010 Tundra and the 2008-2010 Sequoia.

The company said last week that it is recalling 2.3 million of the affected models, in which the gas pedal can stay depressed or return too quickly to idle - the latest in a string of quality problems that have bedeviled the Japanese automaker.

Due to the sales suspension, Toyota is expected to stop producing vehicles on five production lines - four in the U.S. and one in Canada - for the week of February 1, the company said in a press release. This action does not include Hybrid models, Scions or Lexuseses, as these cars are made in Japan and do not utilize the same crappy supplier as American-made models.

Whose fault is this, really? It could be blamed on the supplier, but in the end, these are Toyota's cars and trucks. They must be held responsible for putting their name on the product, just as they were with Tundra frames a few weeks ago. Toyota accepts the blame; they are being proactive and have no plans to add to the death-toll (six deaths so far) that has already been attributed to sticky throttle pedals.


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