CEO, attorney, and automobile designer, Victor Muller has worn several hats throughout his career. He can add a halo to that list. Muller, CEO of Saab Spyker Automobiles N.V., has been rightly credited by legions of Saab enthusiasts as the savior of the Swedish marque.
As a former Saab owner who has had a serious RideLust for the Spyker C8 since the day a lucky bazillionaire first drove one into the sunset, for me, Spyker’s acquisition of Saab, back in early 2010, was a striking moment of blissful surprise. I couldn’t have been more thrilled if I had received a Nobel Prize on my birthday while it rained gold coins and Johnnie Walker Blue. The Saab enthusiasts I knew were speechless with absolute delight. After the ups and downs, the near-success of the Koenigsegg purchase of Saab and its devastating conclusion, and the months of worried nail-biting thereafter, the acquisition was truly a dream come true.
Well Mr. Muller has done it again. He has hired as chief designer of Saab, Jason Castriota, the head designer of the Ferrari P4/5, and designer of the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano and the Maserati GranTurismo. According to Muller, Castriota’s recent redesign of the 9-3, the most popular Saab in the stable, is “spectacular.”
This is the latest surprise for Saab, a company once stunted by stagnant design and diminished quality, care of GM cost-cutting. Recently, it was reported that Saab and BMW were in talks to have the German ubercar maker provide engines and gearboxes for the new Saabs.
It had also been long rumored that Saab would release a car smaller than the 9-3. Muller confirmed this fact, but to everyone’s surprise, his spin on the small car was a modern redux of the much-loved Saab 92. I had a tear in my eye when I heard that. But it was just dust. Really.
To see the death and then the staggeringly promising rebirth of Saab is without a doubt a fantasy come true. Like many, I’m eager to see what new surprises Muller has up his sleeve. I just pray that buyers will indulge his dreams.