Spyker Cars NV is a small company manufacturing exotic super cars, such as the forthcoming C8 Aileron Spyder, expected to be priced at $235,000 when it arrives at the end of the year.

But the Netherlands-based auto maker has big ambitions, not all of them surrounding Saab Automobile, which Spyker acquired from General Motors Co. last month.

Spyker wants to grow its own niche vehicle brand by expanding its U.S. retail network from 15 stores currently to 25 in the coming years, says Carsten Preisz, vice president-sales and marketing for Spyker of North America LLC.

The 10-year-old auto maker also has one dealership in Calgary, Alberta, and wants to add two more Canadian stores, Preisz says.

“The key is to find committed dealers,” Preisz tells Ward’s. The expansion will target additional metropolitan markets.

“That means we will likely have approximately 25 dealers in the U.S. when we have the coverage we believe is providing the necessary service platform,” he says.

Preisz declines to estimate how long it will take to complete the North American retail expansion.

“We have interest from a number of retailers in ‘open markets,’” he says. “What is most important is to find the right partner and not simply appoint a dealer for the sake of checking off what is currently an open market.”

None of the current Spyker showrooms is exclusive. They share space with other high-end nameplates such as Bentley, Lamborghini and Aston Martin.

By comparison, Saab has 216 U.S. dealers. Preisz says it is “quite possible” Saab and Spyker will share retail space in the future.

He says Spyker will consider awarding a franchise to a Saab dealer located in a currently open market and willing to accept the same business terms as current Spyker dealers. Also, potential dealers must be “able to cater to the discerning Spyker client,” Preisz says.

Spyker cars are hand-built at plants in Coventry, U.K., and Zeewolde, the Netherlands. But the auto maker plans to consolidate all vehicle assembly in the new Coventry plant.

Volumes are extremely low. Spyker has sold only about 50 C8 Aileron coupes since launching one year ago, priced at $215,000.

Every car is not necessarily made to order for a customer. “Many cars are built per dealer specifications to meet the requirement of having a dealer showroom car on display,” Preisz says.

The biggest obstacle facing Spyker at the moment is a downbeat global economy. “Most consumers are still very conservative and rational in their buying approach, which is a challenge for us, as Spyker sales are often the result of impulsive purchases,” he says.

The auto maker has enjoyed product success, but profitability remains elusive. “In the end, we have shareholders who are looking for a return on their investment, so we have yet to achieve financial success,” Preisz says.

Current U.S. showroom locations for Spyker:

  • Seattle
  • San Francisco
  • New York
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Miami
  • Tampa, FL
  • Atlanta
  • Los Angeles
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • Salt Lake City
  • Houston
  • Troy, MI
  • Chicago
  • ittsburgh

tmurphy@wardsauto.com