Tag Archives: brand

Fmr Saab Presidents Shannon, Spenchian, Let Go By GM

Posted on 05. Mar, 2010 by .

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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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Erik "On The Roof" Carlsson Turns 81 Years Old

Posted on 05. Mar, 2010 by .

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Legendary Saab rally driver, Erik “On The Roof” Carlsson or “Mr. Saab” to others, turns 81 years old today. Erik “På taket” Carlsson, or in Swedish meaning “on the roof”, was born March 5, 1929 in Trollhättan, Sweden.

The nickname On the roof, apparently originated by from the children’s book, “Karlsson på taket” by Astrid Lindgren. In this book,the Karlsson character lived on the roof of an apartment building. This “on the roof” name was given to Erik Carlsson because he had the infrequent habit of rolling his Saab rally car on its roof.

Erik joined SAAB as a rally driver, just after the first SAAB 92 model was produced and participated in his first rally with it, the Rikspokalen in 1955. Carlsson, married to Pat Moss on March 3rd, 1963, began a relationship that expanded well beyond the homefront. Patt Moss (1934-2008), a younger sister of legendary rally driver, Stirling Moss eventually became Erik Carlsson’s co-pilot through most of his successful rally career.

The early SAABs that Erik Carlsson drove were significantly underutilized two-stroke vehicles that required the driver to keep the high revolutions up while moving, which meant high speeds at all times. When driving these “strokers” at high speeds at all times, Erik Carlsson developed what was called “left foot” braking where you use your left foot to brake while in the same instance, your right foot to maintain the speed at all times.

While Erik Carlsson maintained 1st place in most of his rally circuits, the most notable rally he participated in was the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally where he was victorious.

The year following this victory, both Erik Carlsson and Pat Moss wrote a book called “The Art & Technique of Driving”.

The most recent book on Erik Carlsson’s career was published in 1999, titled “Mr. Saab”. The Mr Saab title was given to Erik “On the Roof” Carlsson by Saab Automobile as he ended his rally career to continue a public relations career for the Swedish car company.

Today, Erik Carlsson has been known to make appearances at various Saab Festivals and Saab Conventions all over the world including the recent Save Saab event in the United Kingdom where he continues to hold the Saab torch. With any luck, maybe you will get a chance to meet this legendary Saab rally champion to thank him for all of the recognition, attention and history he has brought to the Saab Automobile brand ever since.

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GENERAL MOTORS AND SPYKER CARS REACH AGREEMENT ON SAAB

Posted on 26. Jan, 2010 by .

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News Release
spykerheader

• GM and Spyker Cars announce a binding agreement over the transfer of ownership
of Saab
• Terms are agreed and the deal is expected to close in February
• Saab’s future as an independent company is secured
• Saab will exit the orderly wind-down process
• Spyker shareholders will restructure at closure of the deal
• Swedish Government issues guarantee in favour of EIB

ZEEWOLDE, The Netherlands (26 January, 2010) – General Motors Company and Spyker Cars N.V, today confirmed the details of a binding agreement over the transfer of ownership of Saab Automobile AB of Trollhättan, Sweden. The transaction is expected to close in February and Saab Automobile will exit the orderly wind down process in line with that timetable.

The transaction will be accomplished as follows:

• Spyker acquires from Saab Automobile Investering AB, a subsidiary of General Motors (“GM”), all the issued and outstanding ordinary shares in the capital of Saab Automobile A.B. (“Saab”) for a consideration of USD 74 million (“Purchase Price”).

• The Purchase Price will be paid in two instalments. The first instalment of USD 50 million will be paid on the date of completion of the transaction, expected to take place on or before February 15, 2010 (“the Closing”). The second instalment of USD 24 million will be paid on July 15, 2010.

• The Share Purchase Agreement is subject to the execution of a EUR 400 million loan agreement between Saab and the European Investment Bank (“EIB”), guaranteed by the
Swedish Government. Today, the Swedish government announced approval of this guarantee. The guarantee is subject to approval by the European Commission, which is expected shortly.

• Upon completion of the transaction GM will retain redeemable preference shares of USD 326 million. The preference shares represent less than 1% of the voting rights in the capital of Saab. The mandatory redemption date is 31 December 2016 and Saab has the right to request voluntary redemption at any time prior to this date. The preference shares carry a dividend entitlement of 6% starting from January 2012, increasing to 12% as from July 1, 2014. The dividend over 2012 will be added to the principal, but as from January 1, 2013 the dividend is payable in cash. Should Saab have insufficient distributable reserves to pay the cash dividend it will be added to principal increased with a penalty factor.

• In order to allow Saab to operate on a stand-alone basis outside GM, Saab and GM will enter into a number of ancillary agreements. As part of the transaction, Spyker intends to negotiate the acquisition of all the outstanding shares in Saab Great Britain Limited, the UK distribution, marketing and sales company for Saab from General Motors UK Limited.

• Spyker will issue a corporate guarantee not exceeding USD 10 million for Saab’s obligations to and for the benefit of the financing company GMAC.

• Spyker will as soon as practically possible convene a general meeting of shareholders to approve the transaction. Spyker obtained irrevocable voting undertakings to vote in favour of the transaction representing the voting majority of its current shareholders.

• It is the intention to change the name of Spyker Cars N.V. at that general meeting of shareholders to Saab Spyker Automobiles N.V.

• As back-up financing, Spyker entered into a EUR 150 million Equity Credit Line Facility with GEM Global Yield Fund Limited (“GEM”) for a term of 3 years. According to this facility, Spyker may issue shares to GEM at 90 per cent of the volume weighted average price of the shares over a period of 15 trading days following a draw down notice sent to GEM by Spyker. In relation to the GEM facility, Spyker has issued to GEM share warrants in respect of 1,570,000 ordinary shares at an exercise price of EUR 4 per ordinary share. The warrants have a 5 year
term.

The object of acquisition
• In spite of media reports that certain parts have already been sold off, the object is Saab as a complete entity and going concern with all IP rights, trademarks, facilities and other infrastructures. The sale of pre 2003 Saab 9-3 and current Saab 9-5 technology to BAIC in December 2009 did not result in any part of Saab’s business being divested or devalued. On the contrary, Saab has already started the production of the new generation Saab 9-5 in Trollhättan.

• Both Saab management and Saab GB management prepared an estimated balance sheet as at 31 December 2009 for the purpose of this transaction. These estimated balance sheets are
still subject to final account closing and audit procedures.

• Spyker Cars does not yet have a balance sheet as at 31 December 2009 ready for reporting purposes. As such, it would be premature to show a pro-forma combined balance sheet for
Spyker, Saab and Saab GB as at 31 December 2009.

• Therefore Spyker only disclose an indicative combined balance sheet of Saab and Saab GB as at Closing date based on the estimated balance sheets for both entities as at 31 December
2009, adjusted for the impact of the transaction items as at Closing date.

• It should be noted that the indicative closing balance sheet is based on the latest estimated balance sheets of both entities by Saab and Saab GB management which are subject to final closing and audit procedures and therefore subject to change, and does not reflect any potential fair value or purchase price allocation adjustments. The indicative closing balance sheet should therefore not be considered as the actual closing balance sheet, but only as an indication for the assets and liabilities to be acquired at closing date.

stats

Saab’s and Saab GB’s combined revenue amounted to some EUR 1.0 billion in 2009 (2008:
EUR 1.6 billion). Earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation amounted to EUR 0.4 billion
negative in 2009 (2008: EUR 0.3 billion negative). In 2009 Saab sold 39.903 cars and
produced 20.791 cars versus selling 94.751 cars in 2008 and producing 89.086 cars.

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RESTRUCTURING AND MANAGEMENT BUY-OUT

As from Closing of the Saab acquisition, the ownership structure of Spyker will change as follows:

• Tenaci Capital B.V. (“Tenaci”), a company wholly owned by Mr. V.R. Muller has made a successful bid on Mr. V. Antonov’s current shareholding in Spyker consisting of 4.6 million ordinary shares. As agreed in 2007, when Mr V. Antonov acquired his shares in Spyker, Mr. V. Antonov will cause the transfer of the priority share to Spyker if and when he would dispose of his shareholding. A resolution to cancel the priority share will be proposed at the upcoming EGM.

• Messrs. N. Stancikas, M. Bondars and Mr. V. Antonov will retire as members of Spyker’s Supervisory Board effective as per the date of Closing.

• Tenaci will grant to Spyker two loans. One for an amount of USD 25 million towards payment of part of the Purchase Price for Saab upon completion of the transaction. A second loan for an amount of EUR 57 million for repayment of all of Spyker’s current outstanding loans to banks and other financial institutions controlled directly, or indirectly by Mr. V. Antonov. This loan mirrors the existing terms (including the lender’s right to convert EUR 9.5 million into ordinary shares at a conversion price of EUR 4.00 per share).

• The sale will be subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory, governmental and court approvals. Other terms and conditions specific to the sale are not being disclosed at this time. Victor R. Muller, Spyker’s CEO, stated: “We are very much looking forward to being part of the next chapter in Saab’s illustrious history. Saab is an iconic brand that we are honoured to shepherd. We are delighted to have secured the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of loyal Saab employees, suppliers and dealers and to have given reassurance to the 1.5 million Saab drivers and enthusiasts around the world. It was breathtaking to see so much support from the global Saab community over the last months which not only shows the strength of the brand but also helped us in our relentless determination to get the deal done.”

“Spyker Cars will provide Saab with the backing required to compete as a competitive global brand along with an entrepreneurial leadership team sensitive to the uniqueness, heritage and individuality of the Saab brand. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Vladimir Antonov for his formidable support during the past two years. His contribution has allowed Spyker to get to the point that this
transaction was made possible. I also want to extend my gratitude to Messrs. Stancikas and Bondars as Members of the Supervisory Board. They have made very valuable contributions to our company
during their respective terms.”

“Finally I would like to thank the Swedish Government for its constant support for our efforts culminating in granting the Guarantee in favour of the European Investment Bank today for an EUR
400 Million loan to Saab which we hope to secure in the coming weeks.”

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Jan Åke Jonsson, CEO of Saab Automobile AB said: “It has been a challenging 15 months for Saab but our global organization has shown a fighting spirit that will serve us well going forward. The
agreement with Spyker Cars has secured Saab’s future and will enable us to maximize the brand’s potential through an exciting new product line-up with a distinctly Saab character.”

“Today’s news is great for Saab’s customers, dealers, suppliers and employees around the globe. The level of passion and support shown to Saab over recent months has been remarkable and I would like
to take this opportunity to thank all of those people who continued to believe that Saab deserved a future. Now we aim to get back to the execution of our business plan and with the continued support
of our employees and business partners I am confident we will succeed.”

Nick Reilly, President GM Europe, added: “As a responsible corporate citizen in Europe, and throughout the entire period, GM has always had the hope to find a positive solution for Saab that
would avoid a wind-down of the brand. We have worked very hard with many parties, including governments and investors, and I’m very pleased that we could come to such a positive conclusion
that preserves jobs in Sweden and elsewhere. GM will continue to support Saab and Spyker Cars on their way forward.”

-Ends-

Note for the media, not for publication
For further media information, please contact:

Saab Automobile Press Office
Tel: +46 (0)520 279797

Spyker Cars Europe, PFPR Communications:
Mike Stainton
T: +44 (0) 1622 77 66 87
M: +44 (0) 7739 891 040
E: mike.stainton@pfpr.com

Tom Housley
T: +44 (0) 1622 766510
M: +44 (0) 7746 646 356
E: thomas.housley@pfpr.com

Peter Rawlinson
T: +44 (0) 1622 691 361
M: +44 (0) 7971 472 715
E: peter.rawlinson@pfpr.com

Spyker Cars North America, PCG Campbell:
Shane Smith
T: +1 310 224 4965
M: +1 310 224 4965
E: ssmith@pcgcampbell.com

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JMK Saab Participates In NYC "SAVE SAAB" Convoy

Posted on 22. Jan, 2010 by .

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jmk_save_saab1

Photo Credit: JMK Saab

Longtime Saab History site supporter and advertiser, JMK Saab in New Jersey are sending a number of staff members to the “SAVE SAAB” convoy in New York City this weekend.

Here’s their message about their commitment to Saab and this unprecedented global campaign. We’re looking forward to their coverage of the Saabs rolling down Times Square, that will be incredible!

Go JMK Saab!

The reason why we are doing this is because we just want to see our beloved brand saved. We want a chance to continue what we do best and that is to sell and service Saabs. We as a group have all been in this together and it has been a very challenging time. We have had support from our employees and our customers . We want to show what ever support we can. We are fighting for Saab as long as it takes.

Some comments from employees –

– I am here to show my support and allegiance to a car company that I have been affiliated with throughout my career.

– I am here to show people love their SAAB.

– I am a loyal employee and owner of a Saab and would like to see a bright future for this terrific brand.

– I have given 12 years of service to JMK Saab and also an owner of a Saab we deserve our chance.

JMK Saab
345 Route 22 East
Springfield, NJ 07081

Phone: 888-500-9021

http://www.jmksaab.com/

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GM CEO Says "Nobody's Showing Money For Saab"

Posted on 06. Jan, 2010 by .

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GM CEO, Whitacre Says “Nobody’s Showing Money For Saab” according to a recent report by Reuters and other news sources.

Just show up with the money, that’s it? It appears that Spyker Cars are showing up with the money and are about to submit their revised by tomorrow with the “money” most certainly outlined there for them.

This was a premature statement as the revised bid has not yet come in to them. This is it, GM best take the message and to the right thing once the bid arrives and seal the deal.

Whitacre is pessimistic about finding a buyer for the Saab brand.

“It’s real easy,” he said today in a meeting with reporters. “Just show up with the money and you can have it, and nobody’s showing up with the money.”

Whitacre said he didn’t see how GM could have tried any harder to sell the brand.

The automaker said earlier that it will continue to wind down the brand as it entertains bids for Saab.

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Saab Dealerships In Canada To Continue

Posted on 18. Nov, 2009 by .

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Saab History has covered the status of Saab dealerships in Canada earlier this fall, but now there seems to be a good resolution in place.

Evidently, according to the global and mail, the dealerships will continue by Saab Cars North America working directly with distributor, International Fleet Sales, Inc. of California to make it all happen.

While this is positive news, how is it that so many of these dealerships have been told that they are to close, and now many months later, they are asked to stay?

Saab’s history in Canada started in 1975 with a distributor, so continuing this plan will not be any different than it was since it began.

Here’s the story below.

canadaflag1.jpg

Saab, one of four brands being jettisoned or sold by General Motors Co., will continue in Canada under new ownership and a smaller dealer network, Canadian dealers say.
[…]

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Saab Cars North America Website Adds New 9-5 To Lineup

Posted on 09. Nov, 2009 by .

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scusasite1.jpg

The New Saab Cars North America organization has recently refreshed and updated their website.
The notable changes include the following:

* Replacement of Born From Jets to “Move Your Mind”, a continuity of the global brand message.
* Notable that the Saab 9-3x is not shown, although it was launched in the U.S. back in April at the NYIAS
* Addition of the all new Saab 9-5 since it’s NA Miami launch in October.
* Deletion of the Saab 9-7x SUV, but you can still build your own?

I should note that it looks like the website still needs more updates such as inclusion of future models, current press releases such as the North American debut of the all new 9-5, videos, etc. and other material. In addition, it looks like the icon on the website still shows the griffin emblem, and not the SAAB word mark like the other global Saab websites.

This is a good move for the new SCNA organization and I hope to see the website continue to be developed between now and the end of the year. Perhaps we’ll see their new headquarters address and contact information on the website as well?

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Official Press Release: General Motors and Koenigsegg Group AB Reach Tentative Agreement on Saab

Posted on 16. Jun, 2009 by .

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General Motors and Koenigsegg Group AB Reach Tentative Agreement on Saab.

Finally, official confirmation!

General Motors and Koenigsegg Group AB Reach Tentative Agreement on Saab

# Deal will secure Saab’s future
# EIB expected to provide $600 million financing with state guarantee by the Swedish government
# GM reinvention achieves another milestone

Zurich. General Motors Corp. and Koenigsegg Group AB, a consortium led by Koenigsegg Automotive AB, today confirmed the details of a memorandum of understanding for the purchase of Saab Automobile AB that secures Saab’s future.

The sale, expected to close by the end of the third quarter of this year, includes an expected $600 million funding commitment from the European Investment Bank (EIB) guaranteed by the Swedish government. Additional support is to be provided by GM and Koenigsegg Group AB to fund Saab’s operations and product program investments. This includes plans to launch several new products that are in the final stages of development. Saab had filed for reorganization under Swedish Law on Feb. 20, 2009. This tentative agreement is a key milestone for Saab to successfully emerge from its reorganization process.

“This is yet another significant step in the reinvention of GM and its European operations,” said GM Europe President, Carl-Peter Forster. “Saab is a highly respected automotive brand with great potential. Closing this deal represents the best chance for Saab to emerge a stronger company. Koenigsegg Group’s unique combination of innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and financial strength, combined with Koenigsegg’s proven ability to create world-class Swedish performance cars in a highly efficient manner, made it the right choice for Saab as well as for General Motors.”

As part of the proposed transaction, GM will continue to provide Saab with architecture and powertrain technology during a defined time period. Additionally, Saab plans to produce its next generation 9-5 models in the Saab production facility in Trollhättan, Sweden.

“The proposed agreement will enable us to maximize the brand’s potential through an exciting new product line-up with a distinctly Swedish character. Today’s announcement is great news for Saab’s current and future customers, dealers, suppliers and employees around the globe, said Jan Åke Jonsson, Managing Director of Saab Automobile AB.

The sale will be subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory, governmental and court approvals. Other terms and conditions specific to the sale are not being disclosed at this time. Deutsche Bank acted as financial advisor to General Motors Corporation.

General Motors Corp., one of the world’s largest automakers, was founded in 1908, and today manufactures cars and trucks in 34 countries. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 235,000 people in every major region of the world, and sells and services vehicles in some 140 countries. In 2008, GM sold 8.35 million cars and trucks globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Hummer, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM’s largest national market is the U.S., followed by China, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia and Germany. In Europe, GM sells its vehicles in over 40 markets. It operates 10 vehicle-production and assembly facilities in seven countries and employs about 50,000 people. More information on GM can be found at http://media.gmeurope.com and http://www.gmeurope.com. GM Europe executives blog at http://drivingconversations.com.To support informed discussion and fact-based reporting, GM and Opel & Vauxhall have launched a new website at http://gmeuropefactsandfiction.com.

Koenigsegg Group AB is a consortium of private investors led by Koenigsegg Automotive AB. Koenigsegg Automotive AB manufactures supercars. It has representatives in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and the Oceania. The company was founded in 1994 and is based in Ängelholm, Sweden.

CONTACT(S):

GM Europe
Chris Preuss
+41 44 828 25 00
jchristopher.preuss@gm.com

Saab Automobile AB
Eric Geers
Tel: +46 (0) 520 27 97 97
eric.geers@gm.com

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