Posted on 30. Sep, 1991 by in 2000-2009, Norcross, Georgia, Orange, Connecticut





William S. Kelly Named President and Chief Executive Officer, Saab Cars, USA, Inc.

September 30, 1991 — Saab Automobile AB, the Swedish manufacturer of Saab 900 and 900 automobiles, has announced that it will relocate its U.S. automotive headquarters from Orange, Connecticut, to the Atlanta, Georgia area.

Saab has selected the Atlanta area–the fastest growing business center and transportation hub of the Southeast–for its new U.S. headquarters site since it offers the opportunity to better balance operating overhead through more favorable cost structures, tax rates, and property values. Cost advantages are also anticiapted for various support services.

According to Hans Halbach, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Saab Automobile AB, Trollhattan, Sweden, who also serves as chairman, Saab Cars USA, Inc., “Like the many other proactive measures that Saab has recently taken to improve long-term competitiveness, the initiative to relocate the Saab Cars USA, Inc. headquarters is an important mesure to improve our business effectiveness and overall cost efficiency.”

Saab Automobile AB previously improved its productivity by consolidating the majority of its car manufacturing activity into a single facility in Trollhattan, turning to greater outsourcing of components and subsystems, and centralizing all parent company administative functions to its base in Sweden.

With the relocation, the Saab Cars USA, Inc. headquarters will function with a leaner organization which will be targeted to serve and support the Swedish automaker’s 317 American dealers. Saab also plans to take a progressive approach to restructure its field organization, making it more commercialy and customer service oriented. This new focus of the field force is being designed to help Saab dealers improve their performance and profitability.

Mr. Halbach further stated, “Saab is taking this action now, while its U.S. sales performance is essentially equivalent to last year, to prepare itself for the increased competition that is projected for the decade ahead and to position the organization in the United States to support the new range of Saab automobiles which will arrive in the beginning of the mid-90’s.”

Saab intends to start up its new Atlanta-based operation on or about April, 1992. A specific new headquarters site has yet to be selected.

William S. Kelly Named President and Chief Executive Officer, Saab Cars, USA, Inc.

In conjunction with this announcement, William S. Kelly, 43, has been named president and chief executive officer, Saab Cars USA, Inc, succeeding Sten Helling who has chosen to remain in Connecticut, and will leave Saab after 11 years of dedicated service with the company.
Mr. Kelly previously served as vice president, sales and marketing, for the Swedish automobile manufacturer’s U.S. subsidiary. Prior to that, Kelly was Saab’s national sales manager in the United States and held various Saab field positions. He first joined Saab in 1980, and has a broad background in dealer relations.

Jan-Ake Jonsson, 40, will assume the position of vice president, sales and marketing, Saab Cars USA, Inc., and will report directly to Mr. Kelly. Before this appointment he was manager, North America Coordination, Saab Automobile AB, and served as the principal liaison between Saab’s U.S. sales and marketing activity and the Swedish parent company.


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