UPDATE 1-Spyker upbeat as Saab sales meet lowered 2010 guidance

Thu Jan 6, 2011 5:44am EST

 * 2010 FY sales 31,696 vs forecast 30,000-35,000
 * Says Q4 sales jumped 129 pct year-on-year
 * Sales momentum 'continues to grow'
 * Shares up 7.5 pct
 
 (Adds analyst comment, shares, details)
 By Aaron Gray-Block
 AMSTERDAM, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Loss-making Dutch car maker
Spyker SPYKR.AS said it was confident sales at its Swedish
unit Saab would accelerate this year after meeting its lowered
2010 guidance, boosting its shares on Thursday.
 Luxury carmaker Spyker defied sceptics last year when it
rescued Saab from a looming closure and has remained bullish on
its prospects in the face of massive challenges, forecasting
sales to rise this year to 80,000 and 120,00 in 2012.
 The company said late on Wednesday, Saab sold 31,696 cars
over 2010 after cutting its full-year target in October to
30,000 to 35,000 units, from 45,000 previously, because it had
to rebuild its supplier base after Spyker bought Saab from
General Motors (GM.N).
 But Saab sold 11,448 cars in the fourth quarter, up 129
percent compared with the same period in 2009 and up 31 percent
quarter-on-quarter.
 "There's still room for improvement. I think it took quite
some time to get things up and running in a normal way and they
still have a long way to go," AEK analyst Martin Crum said.
 "2011 will be the first normal year in terms of production
and that should show a strong improvement considering 2010, but
by how much will it be? We will have to wait and see."
 Shares in Spyker Cars were up 8.03 percent at 4.05 euros at
1034 GMT to outperform a 0.34 percent gain on the Amsterdam
small-cap index .ASCX
 
 PRODUCT OFFENSIVE
 Spyker said after production was severely disrupted at the
start of 2010, Saab continued to see sales momentum increase
quarter by quarter in several key markets.
 "I am confident that we can keep up the current sales
momentum as we continue to enhance our offering with the biggest
ever product offensive in Saab Automobile's history," Saab Chief
Executive Jan Ake Jonsson said in a statement.
 Saab's factory was closed for eight weeks at the start of
2010 as GM had been preparing to wind the business down prior to
the last-minute rescue offer from Spyker, and a lot of suppliers
had also closed production.
 The company said it will continue to expand its distribution
network in China and Russia and that it expects to see the full
effects in 2011 of its entry last year into markets such as
Japan, Canada, Portugal and Australia.
 (Reporting by Aaron Gray-Block; Editing by Hans Peters)

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