Spyker Cars N.V. (Euronext SPYKR) is a Dutch manufacturer of hand-built automobiles. The company has the legal right to the brand name Spyker, which was previously used by another Dutch car manufacturer, the old Spyker company which was founded in 1880 by Jacobus and Hendrik-Jan Spijker. The old Spyker company changed the name from Spijker to Spyker in 1903 to make the brand easier to read and pronounce outside the Netherlands. The old Spyker is most famous for having created the Golden Carriage, a vehicle that is still used by the Dutch Queen. In 1929, the old Spyker went bankrupt.
The modern Spyker Cars N.V. was founded by Victor Muller and Maarten de Bruijn and has been building exclusive sports cars since 2000. The company motto is "Nulla tenaci invia est via", which means "For the tenacious, no road is impassable" in Latin. The factory also has its own racing team, the Spyker Squadron. This racing team has participated in renowned races like the Le Mans Series, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 12 Hours of Sebring and several FIA GT races.
Spyker Cars N.V. has a history of producing airplane engines and this is clearly visible in the details of the cars as well as in the company logo. Spyker has developed three cars so far:
Spyker C8 (various variants, including the C8 Laviolette)
Spyker D12 Peking-to-Paris
Spyker C12 Zagato
The Spyker C8 Laviolette is equipped with a 4172 cc BMW V12 engine that yields 400 hp and creates a top speed of 300 km/h. In the United States, the Spyker C8 Laviolette has been approved for sale since July 2005.
The Spyker D12 Peking-to-Paris was announced at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show and is planned to be ready for sale in late 2007. The Spyker D12 Peking-to-Paris is a high-performance Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV).
Spyker Cars and the Mubadala Development Company announced a strategic alliance on November 2005 and Mubadala acquired 17% of Spyker. The Mubadala Development Company is a principal investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government and even before the Spyker deal it had strong connections with the European sports car market. The Mubadala Development Company is for instance controlling 5% of Ferrari.
When Spyker Cars N.V. became listed on the Euronext Amsterdam on May 27, 2004, the initial public offering was € 15.50. By April 2005, it had fallen to € 8.28. In early 2006, the stock rose again and ended up at over € 22 a share. Due to financing issues, the stock began to fall again and was down beneath € 13 in early 2007. To handle the situation, several stock issues were announced to big investors and all these shares were sold above the market price at the moment of announcement.
In 2005, head designer Maarten de Bruijin left Spyker.
Spyker takes over MF1 Racing
In 2006, Spyker purchased the Formula One racing team Midlands F1 Racing from its Russian owner Alex Shnaider. Shnaider received US$ 106.6 million for MF1 Racing. The team name was changed to Spyker MF1 team and used this time for the last three races in the Formula One season of 2006. The livery was also revised and the team used a Dutch flag instead of the Russian one. From the 2007 Formula One season and onwards, the team will go by the name Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team to reflect the fact that Etihad and Aldar are the main sponsors of the team. Etihad and Aldar are both Abu Dhabi based companies; Etihad is an Airway enterprise while Aldar is a Real Estate Developer.