Tag Archives: Bob Sinclair

Fmr Saab Presidents Shannon, Spenchian, Let Go By GM

Posted on 05. Mar, 2010 by .



Photo Credit: Saab History (Left to Right) Bob Sinclair, Jay Spenchian, Jan-Willem Vester & Steve Shannon. – 2007 Saab Owners Convention, Troy Michigan

The former Presidents of Saab Automobile in the United States while under previous GM ownership, Jay Spenchian (2005-2007) as well as Steve Shannon (2007-2009), were both dismissed from their duties as executives at GM this week, according to Ad Age.

Jay Spenchian began with Saab Automobile USA on March 31st, 2005 and was involved in the “Born From Jets” advertising campaign and saw the 50th anniversary of Saab in the United States in 2006.

Steve Shannon, who was interviewed at the New York Auto Show last year, led the company beginning on April 16th 2007, during a challenging time as the company itself was converted into a premium brand group, then dissolved as GM began to express its interest in shedding it’s former Saab brand.

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The First Ever, Saab 9-3 Convertible Built In Sweden!

Posted on 12. Jan, 2010 by .





Photo Credits: Saab Automobile AB

The first ever Saab 9-3 convertible to be built in Sweden rolled off of the assembly line yesterday at the Saab factory in Trollhättan.

The Saab Convertible has historically been built in Graz, Austria from 2004-2009, and previously it was built in Uusikaupunki, Finland ever since it’s introduction in 1986.

This is a huge day for Saab Automobile and a big milestone in the history of the convertible. This car being produced in Sweden now also means that all production is now entirely in Sweden. I think that Bob Sinclair, the man behind the idea of the Saab convertible would be proud if was with us today.

Here’s the press release below:

Saab Automobile Produces its First Convertible in Trollhättan

* Production of iconic Saab Convertible begins in Trollhättan
* Increased utilization of Saab Automobile’s Trollhättan production facility

The first Saab Convertible to be built in Sweden rolled off the line at Saab Automobile’s production facility in Trollhättan today. All previous Saab Convertibles have been built outside of Sweden, first at Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki, Finland and latterly at the Magna Steyr plant in Graz, Austria.

During 2009, the decision was made to concentrate all Saab car production in Sweden and as a result the Saab Convertible is now being built alongside the current 9-3 and 9-5 models, plus the next generation 9-5, at Saab’s state-of-the-art manufacturing unit in Trollhättan.

Saab Automobile revealed its first four-seater Convertible as a concept car in 1983 and the production version followed in 1986. Since then, more than 250,000 Convertibles have been produced. Designed as a true four-season, all-weather soft-top, the Saab Convertible has achieved iconic status and in 2008 it accounted for 12% of sales in the European premium mid-sized convertible segment. The latest vision of Saab’s future direction in convertible design, the 9-X Convertible Concept, was shown at the 2008 Paris Motor Show to great media and public acclaim.

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What Would Bob Sinclair Have Said About All Of This?

Posted on 21. Dec, 2009 by .


What would Bob Sinclair have said about all of this situation with Saab & GM over the last 20 years? This is what automotive news has recently written as a focus on the ongoing situation with Saab with reference to Bob Sinclair, Saab’s former chief in the United States for many years.

Here’s the article referenced below:

If this truly is the end of Saab, maybe it’s just as well Bob Sinclair isn’t around to see it.

Sinclair, who died in May at age 77, made Saab a success in the United States. As head of U.S. operations in the 1980s, he pushed his reluctant Swedish bosses to add content and luxury to their cars.

We forget just how well Saab was doing in this country a couple of decades ago, nearly hitting sales of 50,000 units before the October 1987 stock market crash. Saab was quirky, but also cool.

Think how hard it is these days to take a brand upmarket. You have to marvel at Sinclair, who retired in 1991. In fact, Saab may be the last brand to make a successful transition from downmarket to upmarket — here or anywhere.

In December 1989, General Motors was cash-flush and distressed that it had lost out to Ford in bidding for Jaguar. So GM acquired half of Saab. Several years later, it bought the rest.

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Steven Rossi, Fmr. Saab USA PR Chief, Published in NY Times

Posted on 16. Nov, 2009 by .


Steven Rossi, former Public Relations Director for Saab Cars USA, has recently written a great article about Saab’s History and the cars that people collect today in the New York Times..

Rossi who took over for Lennart Lonnegren in 1990 and continued this role as Public Relations Director up until the a few years after the move to Norcross Georgia in 1994, has a long history with Saab dating back to 1978 as young engineer.

In fact, one of his many humble accomplishments took place before this position. In the early eighties, he worked alongside former Saab-Scania of America President, Bob Sinclair to submit the engineering drawings for what became one of the most iconic products in Saab’s historical portfolio, the Saab Convertible.

As a proud member of the 60-consecutive months of sales led by Bob Sinclair and former national sales director, Sten Helling, Rossi saw not only the convertible but the launch of the Saab 9000 in which he participated in the press event at Talladega Speedway for the “Long Run” in 1986.

Throughout his time with Saab in the United States, he saw many aspects of the business inside and out from engineering to public relations.

Today, he continues to hold the torch as one of the original members of the team that worked in Orange, Connecticut. In fact, he has organized two Saab Reunions in the North East over the past five years for other former employees to gather and reminisce.

I highly suggest you read this piece by Steven Rossi beginning with his opening excerpt below.

SAAB is a relatively young and proudly offbeat automaker, and from the start it has appealed to those who appreciate the unconventional. For aficionados, “Find your own road” was more than a slogan.


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Sinclair Family Shares Bob Sinclair Tribute Video

Posted on 24. Sep, 2009 by .


Credits: Seth Bengelsdorf, Sinclair Family, Saab History, Tom Nelson, Doug Majka and others.

As a follow-up to the slideshow, following Bob Sinclair’s passing, Saab History has received a tribute video received by the Sinclair family this week that they would like to share with you here.

This video was shown Friday night at the 2009 Saab Owners Convention that took place in Copper Mountain, Colorado on August 14th.

It was an honor to have known Uncle Bob over the years and it’s important that we never forget the legacy that he created over the course of his time with Saab.

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Saab History Covers 2009 Saab Owners Convention

Posted on 18. Aug, 2009 by .


Film Credit: Saab History

This past weekend, I attended the 2009 Saab Owners Convention in Copper Mountain, Colorado. Thanks to both Cherry Hill Saab in New Jersey and Tynan’s Saab in Fort Collins, Colorado, I was able to attend and film the entire event throughout the weekend.

The event, which officially started on Thursday spanned four days, of which I arrived Friday, had its fair share of variable weather, but overall, it really seemed to have been pulled off by the folks at the Rocky Mountain Saab Club as well as all of the actively engaged and supportive convention goers. This convention in Colorado represented a 10-year anniversary by the same group where it took place in Keystone, Colorado back in 1999.

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Bob Sinclair To Be Honored At 2009 Saab Convention

Posted on 12. Aug, 2009 by .



Photo Credit: Saab-Scania Of America, Inc.

Bob Sinclair, former President of Saab-Scania of America will be honored at the 2009 Saab Owners Convention this Friday night by Seth Bengelsdorf of Nines Magazine.

If you have never met Bob Sinclair, I highly suggest you watch his speech at the 1988 Saab Owners Convention recently posted as well as the interview I did with him at the Boston Auto Show in front of that same black 1985 Saab SPG, during the Turbo-X Launch in November of 2007, it was a memory I will never forget.

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Saab Owners Convention – 1988

Posted on 11. Aug, 2009 by .



Photo Credit: Doug Chadwick

The 1988 Saab Owners Convention took place on July 22nd through the 24th, 1988 in Wilmington, Delaware.

This location in Wilmington, Delaware is known as “New Sweden” and the convention was “themed” under a special anniversary year since the first Swedish Immigrants entered America in 1638.

A thanks to Bill Jacobson at Sports Car Service for the information from a posted he loaned Saab History in order to capture the following information in lieu of a booklet and official writeup of the event from the planning committee at the time:

The event was kicked off by Jenny Trostel, who introduced a number of Saab personalities such as Bob Sinclair, Lennart Lonnegren, Karen Nobile & Arsey Miller who also sponsored the convention as part of the Saab-Scania of America team.

JULY 22-24, 1988

New Sweden 1638-1988
Celebrating The 350th Anniversary of the Swedes and Finns First Permanent Settlement in North America.

A Gathering For All Saab Owners

* Concours & Rallye
* Saab Dignitaries
* Parts & Sales Exchange
* Technical Sessions
* Awards Banquet
* Family Fare Historical Tours
* Fun, Fun, Fun!!

Wilmington Hilton Hotel

For More Information Write:
Delaware Valley Saab Club
Convention Information
36 S. Cliffe Drive
Wilmington, DE 19809

Also special thanks to Saab Enthusiasts, Doug Chadwick for the photography and Stefan Vapaa for the emblem and Tim Winker for the video.

I am still looking for the original booklet and any photography of this event as well.

This convention is also listed on the Saab Convention Archive here on Saab History.

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Production Concept