Tag Archives: Cadillac

GM’s Premium Channel VP, Mark McNabb, Resigns From General Motors After Only 13 Months

Posted on 22. May, 2009 by .

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GM’s Premium Channel VP, Mark McNabb, the one that has been writing all of the letters recently to Saab Automobile dealers, has just resigned after 13 months.

It’s interesting, because he has resigned just before June 1st, when GM needs to prove that they are restructuring properly so that they aren’t forced into bankruptcy. I am guessing that he’s leaving with his golden parachute before GM goes belly up on June 1st.

Here’s the piece from the Detroit News.

This leaves just Steve Shannon, as the only one spending some of his day with Saab in the United States. That’s effectively all that Saab USA is today, but that’s under the old GM regime, which I hope will be changed with the new Saab just around the corner.

Detroit — Mark McNabb, vice president of General Motors Corp.’s premium Cadillac, Hummer and Saab brands, has resigned after 13 months with the automaker, the company said Thursday.

He will be replaced on an interim basis by Stephen J. Hill, general sales manager for GM’s premium channel.

Prior to joining GM, McNabb was a senior vice president for sales and marketing at Nissan North America.

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Earlier this month, GM warned there would be cuts among the ranks of salaried employees and executives, but a company spokesman said it was McNabb’s decision to leave.

“He elected to pursue other career opportunities,” Cadillac spokesman Klaus-Peter Martin said Thursday. “A big part had to do with he wanted to be closer to his family,” in New Jersey.

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Saab History On The General Motors Business Plan

Posted on 18. Feb, 2009 by .

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The “public version” of the General Motors Business Plan submitted to the U.S. Treasury today at 6:00pm has been posted on GM’s website.

You can download this 117-page PDF document titled “”GM 2009 – 2014 Restructuring Plan”, clearly a summarized version in comparison to the 900+ page official document.

Please click here to download directly at this link.

One thing is clear, GM states that basically on March 31st, 2009, Saab Automobile AB has effectively 9-months to become a completely independent business entity before January 1st, 2010.

It basically looks like Saab Automobile AB needs to secure the loans, both the $400 Million Dollars from the Swedish Government in addition to the $600 Million Dollars that was recently applied for with the European Investment Bank before March 31st.

I guess that at this point, the Swedish Government should rest assured that their money should not be going to General Motors in Detroit, but those loans need to be specifically applied only to Saab Automobile AB in their home country and I hope that both Saab & Sweden ensure that they do.

For the next 9-months following these loans, Saab Automobile AB would to secure a buyer somewhere between March 31st and January 1st, 2010.

Here are the areas that I captured from this “public” version of the GM Business Plan for your reference, but again please feel free to download it yourself and search for “Saab” and you’ll see what I have below.

Saab is to be an independent business entity Jan. 1, 2010, which is 9 months from March 31st, 2009

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4.1 Competitive Product Mix and Cost Structure—General Motors Restructuring Plan calls for rationalizing vehicle sales and marketing operations in the United States through reducing brands, nameplates and retail outlets. This will help to concentrate product development resources on ―fewer, better‖ entries, and generate more competitive dealer
economics.

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Brands and Channels—The Company has committed to focus its resources primarily on its core brands: Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC. Of the remaining brands, Pontiac—which is part of the Buick-Pontiac-GMC retail channel—will be a highly focused niche brand. Hummer and Saab, stand-alone retail channels and brands, are subject to ‗strategic reviews‘, including their potential sale. A Hummer sale or phase out decision will be made in Q1 2009, with final resolution expected for both no later than
2010. Saturn will remain in operation through the end of the planned lifecycle for all Saturn products (2010-2011). In the interim, should Saturn retailers as a group or other
investors present a plan that would allow a spin off or sale of Saturn Distribution Corporation (SDC), GM would be open to any such possibility. If a spin off or sale does
not occur, it is GM‘s intention to phase out the Saturn brand at the end of the current product lifecycle.

Provisions have been made in the pro-forma financial statements for all brand-related restructuring costs related to an assumed phase-out of the Saturn, Saab and Hummer
retail channels and brands, should a sale or spin-off prove unachievable.
,
The impact of moving from six to three retail channels, and eight to four core brands will not only result
in structural costs savings in areas such as marketing and human resources, but will enable GM to achieve greater focus on core brands and channels. The Company believes
the ongoing effect of fewer brands to be limited in terms of unit sales, while improving profitability, as over 90% of the Company‘s U.S. aggregate contribution margin (revenue
less variable cost) is derived from core brands.

U.S. Market Share Assumptions

4. Chevy, Cadillac and Buick gain share due to future product plan as well as reduced competition from HUMMER, Saab, Saturn and Pontiac

Saturn, HUMMER and Saab have generated an average annual EBIT loss of $1.1 billion (E2)

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Saab Automobile’s Global Marketing Strategy Restructuring

Posted on 05. Feb, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

As indicated across the globe, Saab Automobile’s marketing changes are happening at a rapid pace because the global marketing strategy is being restructured. We’re seeing this at all levels from the websites which will be fully updated to reflect a globally consistent brand presence. In addition to the online changes, we’re having management changes as well as Saab Automobile continues its progression towards independence.

According to Automotive News, who I “rarely trust” have indicated these management changes will continue with Saab Automobile AB’s Managing Director, Jan-Ã…ke Jonsson who will be taking on additional responsibility of marketing and sales as of March 1st, 2009. It’s interesting to hear this because, GM Premium Brands in North America’s Steve Shannon, did this last fall, but added Cadillac & Hummer to his responsibilities as did his colleague.

Here’s a quote from this report where Automotive News spoke with Brent Dewar, GM Europe’s head of sales, marketing and aftersales.

Jan-Ake Jonsson, currently managing director of Saab, will add responsibility for Saab’s marketing and sales in Europe.

Evidently, Jonsson also chimed in as well stating that this will help them focus the Saab brand.

Saab’s Jonsson stated that the new structure would give the Swedish brand greater responsiveness to the markets. “We will not be working through many different layers and we can better focus our brand,” he said.

The news sounds positive, but I did e-mail Brent Dewar as well as Knut Simonsson, Executive Director Global Brand & Sales Operations, to ensure that this news is accurate.

It looks like a lot of changes are already in the mix as we speak, even though a new business plan is being hammered out between now and February 17th for Saab Automobile’s next era of independence.

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Saab History Interviews Former Saab USA President Joel Manby

Posted on 31. Dec, 2008 by .

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Photo Credit: Manby (L-to-R Ralph Millet, Joel Manby, Bob Sinclair)

I have recently had the privilege of interviewing Joel Manby, the former Saab USA President from June of 1996 until April of 2000.

Below is his updated and candid account of our interview, it is a great read, so take the time and enjoy!

Thank you Joel for your time and contribution, we all appreciate it!

Saab History: How Did you end up joining Saab Cars USA in June of 1996?

Manby: I worked at Saturn as a Regional Vice President and was picked to lead Saab Cars USA in order to improve the dealership distribution network by making it more focused and more profitable.

I used to co own some retail dealerships so I knew how important the car buying experience was in the customer’s final decision on what brand to buy, especially since it was the 2nd most expensive purchase a family would make after a home. I also knew that our competitors like BMW, Audi and Volvo had a much more profitable and focused dealer network. I was determined to reinvigorate the dealership network to turn around the car buying experience to one that was enthusiastic for not only the customer, but the dealership’s sales team as well. We were asking dealers to invest in exclusive dealerships and sales people so in many cases we actually removed some dealers who were not committed or dueled with poor brands in order to get other dealers to invest heavily. Our basic goal was to go from selling 25,000 Saabs through 360 poorly focused stores (average = 70/year per store) to 40,000 sold Saabs through 240 stores (a more focused and profitable average of 170/year per store). Dealers need to know they can be profitable before they will invest.

Saab History: How did this strategy work?

Manby: The units sold per dealership increased to over 150/store as did the national sales figures which topped 40,000 during my time. We had more exclusive stores than any time in recent history and had the 2nd highest sales year in Saab history to that point….so I would say it worked well. We also gained huge share in Southern California where we were almost non existent.

Saab History: Consistent advertising was never something that Saab had, what did you do to turn this around?
[…]

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