Tag Archives: chief executive

Saab Automobile Has High Hopes For All New 9-5 Model

Posted on 01. Jun, 2010 by .

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Reuters has recently written a good article about how Saab is putting their hopes on the all new Saab 9-5 in order to rebuild the company’s brand identity, now that they are owned by Spyker.

Saab pins hopes on new 9-5 after Spyker rescue

* First model since Saab take over by Spyker

* Goal is to “rebuild confidence and trust”

* Entire line-up to be overhauled within two years

By Reed Stevenson

TROLLHATTAN, Sweden, June 1 (Reuters) – Saab is launching its first new car, the flagship 9-5, as it hopes to restore buzz and sales to the iconic Swedish brand after its rescue earlier this year by Dutch luxury carmaker Spyker (SPYKR.AS).

Amid anaemic demand — global auto sales sank 13 percent in 2009 to a seven-year low — Saab is aiming to more than double yearly sales to 85,000 by 2012 to avoid losses. Last year, it sold nearly 40,000 cars.

At Saab’s headquarters in Trollhattan, where thousands of employees gathered in January to cheer Spyker Chief Executive Victor Muller’s gutsy $400 million deal to buy Saab from General Motors [GM.UL], Saab’s chief executive promised to restore the brand and the company at a launch event on Tuesday.

“The biggest challenge we have right now is to rebuild confidence and trust,” Saab CEO Jan Ake Jonsson said.
[…]

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Saab Making Steady Return To Health: Jan Åke Jonsson

Posted on 13. May, 2010 by .

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Saab CEO Jan Åke Jonsson, was recently interviewed by The Local where he stated that there are signs of recovery for the Saab brand.

Here is a snippet of the article below:

Saab CEO Jan Åke Jonsson has said the iconic Swedish brand is showing good signs of recovery after teetering close to the abyss before its sale to Dutch luxury car maker Spyker.

The newly reorganized Saab is steadily reducing its break even point and has more than enough cash to survive as it begins to rebuild sales, its chief executive officer said on Tuesday.

After a near-liquidation by former parent General Motors, Saab must rebuild its sales from scratch and is focused on restructuring its operations, said Jonsson.

“We had been closed down for seven weeks,” he told reporters in Detroit.

“We couldn’t order any material or do any advertising because we were in liquidation,” he said. “Now we have about 4,500 cars in inventory. We’re completely focused on getting our products out as quickly as possible.”

The company is currently living on reserves, including loans from the European banks and a $200 million technology deal with Beijing Auto.

But Jonsson said the storied Swedish brand should be able to break even in the second half of 2011.

While Jonsson hopes to reduce operating costs to the point where Saab can break even with annual sales of 80,000 to 85,000 vehicles, he said its potential sales are significantly higher.

Jonsson is confident Saab could sell as many as 125,000 units annually “at which point we would be quite profitable.”

“These are very conservative estimates,” he said, noting that Saab had sold 98,000 cars in 2008 when it was still owned by GM.

In the United States, which is Saab’s single largest market, Saab has reached several key objectives since its February 23 purchase by Dutch sports car maker Spyker, noted Michael Colleran, president and chief operating officer of Saab Cars North America.

SAAB USA has built a staff, re-filled the pipeline to its 207 dealers and signed an agreement with what was then GMAC but is now Ally Bank, which is providing financing to Saab dealers and customers.

Saab is now in a position where it can offer lease deals to potential customers, Colleran said. In addition, Saab North America is launching its first sales promotion and is preparing a broad advertising campaign that will utilize print, online and social media.

The automaker’s US dealers have increased their orders for new vehicles, which is a sign of confidence in the new company and its plans for the future, Colleran said.

Saab also plans to resume selling cars in Canada in August, Colleran said.
[…]

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Spyker CEO, Victor Muller's Presentation At NAIAS – Recap

Posted on 12. Jan, 2010 by .

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Here’s a recap of the presentation by Spyker’s CEO, Victor Muller at the Automotive World Congress event today. This event took place at the NAIAS in Detroit which took place at 3:05pm as covered by the AFP.

Spyker has funds to buy Saab and GM is ‘considering’ offer: CEO

(AFP) – 43 minutes ago

DETROIT, Michigan — Spyker has the money to buy Saab and GM is “considering” its offer very seriously, the head of the Dutch sports car maker said Tuesday.

GM has begun the orderly wind down of Saab and the fate of the Swedish car maker seemed sealed last week when GM chief Ed Whitacre said the US auto giant had done everything it could to find a buyer but so far nobody had come up with the money.

But Victor Muller, founder and chief executive of Spyker Cars said the death knell had not yet rung.

“We have shown Mr. Whitacre the money,” said Victor Muller, founder and chief executive of Spyker Cars.

“We are absolutely definitely negotiating in good faith with GM to buy Saab,” Muller told a conference hosted by Automotive News in Detroit.

“They are considering offers very, very seriously.”

Muller said he is “not very concerned about all the steps that are being taken with the wind down” because they are consistent with the plan GM set forward after a deal to sell Saab to Swedish sportscar maker Koenigsegg.

General Motors announced on December 18 that it would wind down the brand which has barely turned a profit during two decades under GM ownership, but several groups have since made last-ditch bids for it.

They include Spyker, a group comprised of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone and Luxembourg investment firm Genii Capital, and a Swedish group fronted by the former chief executive of German truck manufacturer MAN and a former politician.

“If the sale of Saab doesn’t generate more than the wind down scenario costs, for them it’s clearly not attractive,” Muller said.

“So it was my job, our job, at Spyker to put forward a proposal that is attractive enough for them to reverse the position.”
[…]

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Saab Employees Rally At Saab Factory In Trollhättan

Posted on 12. Jan, 2010 by .

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Photo Credits: TTELA & GT

Thousands of Saab Automobile employees finally gather outside of the Saab Factory in Trollhättan, Sweden today according to TTELA & GT.

The protesters are carrying signs, including the “SAVE SAAB” logo I provided to some of them in an e-mail last night. Their sign however includes this but they added “SAVE SAAB from Ganster Motors, a play on GM”. Creative!

I’m glad our “SAVE SAAB” campaign in Detroit took off and inspired others around the world including Saab clubs and now Saab employees.

Good for them, send your message loud and clear!

Here’s TTELA’s story followed by GT’s below.

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TTELA

Thousands manifested outside Saab

TROLLHÄTTAN Save Saab, Saab save, save Saab!
Several thousand Saab employees gathered outside the main gate at noon to send a message to the owner of General Motors.
– Show us that you deliver what you promised!

For unions call down near 3 000 Saab employees up to a demonstration at 12 noon today. All left their jobs and marched out to the main gate. Banners reading “Saab has a soul, GM”, “Save Saab” and “General failure take” appeared in the crowds.
– We still believe in this and have constant contact with the bidders, “said Annette Hellgren, chairman of the Union, just before the demonstration started.

And people were furious at GM.

– It is pure torture from GM’s side, “said Rune Olsson, who worked 25 years at the factory.
The manifestation was short, but afterward sent the trade union representatives off a letter to GM’s CEO Ed Whitacre with an appeal to sell Saab

GT

Banners outside the factory spoke for themselves: “SAVE Saab from GM – Gangster Motors”, “Saab has a soul, the GM?” And “save jobs at Saab.”

– All are here, all 3 500 workers, both factory workers and officials, “says Borje Andersson, GT’s reporter on the spot.

During the manifestation of the letter was read out, in which the staff addressed to GM’s chief executive, Ed Whitacre.

– The letter requires the employees to GM will take responsibility for their employees and sell Saab.

They are demanding that GM will demonstrate the confidence of the employees, being a good employer, “said GT’s Borje Andersson.

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Today Marks The Final Day For Parties To Submit Bids

Posted on 07. Jan, 2010 by .

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Today marks the final day for the interested parties to submit their bids. Here’s hoping there some positive result with the bids.

There are two new anonymous Swedish bidders that have apparently entered the pool of candidates recently and want to get their proposals into Deutche Bank today, who have been handling the process for GM, according to Reuters.

It is my understanding that without any secured EIB statement from the Swedish Government to any party, the bids will once again be rejected. Here’s hoping I am wrong on this matter, but all comes down to that.

Here’s a piece below by Reuters discussing today’s deadline for the bids.

STOCKHOLM/AMSTERDAM, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Bidders in Sweden and the Netherlands made last-ditch efforts on Thursday to buy General Motors [GM.UL]-owned Saab, as the deadline for its sale loomed threatening the Swedish car brand with closure.

Two anonymous Swedish groups are likely to enter last-minute bids proposing management buy-outs of Saab, a Swedish business daily reported, quoting a Swedish official.

Dagens Industri quoted Joran Hagglund, Sweden’s state secretary for industry, as saying the bids are likely to meet today’s deadline, though neither group had been able to show it had the financial backing necessary for a purchase.

“We have had contacts with several different groups since the 18th of December, among them three from Sweden,” Hagglund told the paper. “I should think that at least two of them will submit bids to General Motors during Thursday.”

“The problem is that none of them can show that they have financing in place,” he said, adding that Koenigsegg, which retracted its bid late last year, was not one of the groups.
[…]

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Saab Chief Executive Jan Ake Jonsson Responds

Posted on 18. Dec, 2009 by .

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Saab Chief Executive Jan Ake Jonsson Responds to the news media today about GM closing Saab, according to TTELA.

Jonsson believed in success

Trollhättan Saab Chief Executive Jan Ake Jonsson, who as far maintained their optimism, looked somewhat browbeaten out when he carried out the interview after interview.

– Of course I am very disappointed. It’s been an incredible concentration over a long period. When not in case it is not a positive situation, I will not hide from.

He was convinced that everything was going to go without a hitch.

– All this kind of negotiation goes through peaks and valleys. It succeeds in some things and some fail. We’ve made progress every day. Now we move on from here.

Saab CEO has no answer to when the plant closes or when the employee is terminated.

– We need a directive from GM. It is GM that has made its transparency and, in their way, there are no preconditions to implement this. And instead of picking up any other option decides to GM settlement.

Has the last car was built?

– GM has decided to phase out and that means not going to be built Saabs here. While we wait for precise directives so is still my opinion that the liquidation of a business man so it ends.

How lengthy decommissioning will not know Jan Åke Jonsson.

– I think it is too early to judge exactly what the final outcome will be. There are a variety of assets in the company, operations can continue in another form in order to support the automotive industry. It may evolve over the next few weeks.

What should employees do after the Christmas break?

– I do not know for sure, but we are sitting on a lot of material in the factory and it would be wrong not to build the cars, because I think they have a great value. But it is something we can analyze in the coming days.

Will someone buy the new 9-5.

– It is too early to predict. We’ve built 30-35 units in the current situation and I do not know what will happen to them.

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Dagens Industri Reports Saab May Not Get Full EIB Loan

Posted on 30. Sep, 2009 by .

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Swedish Newspaper, Dagens Industi reports that Saab may not get the full EIB loan as syndicated on Reuters today.

There are conditions apparently that may not exactly fit the loan lending rules, but this is from an unnamed source, so take this news lightly until we hear otherwise from official channels.

Saab may not get full EIB loan – paper
Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:16pm EDT

* $612 mln loan is key to Koenigsegg acquisition plans

* Questions whether some projects fit EIB lending rules

* Concerns remain over Koenigsegg’s ability to buy Saab

STOCKHOLM, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Ailing Swedish car firm Saab, being sold by General Motors [GM.UL], may not get the full 4.3 billion Swedish crown ($612 million) loan it has asked for from the European Investment Bank (EIB), daily Dagens Industri wrote on Tuesday, quoting an unnamed source.

The loan is key to plans by luxury car maker Koenigsegg to buy Saab, but the EIB is doubtful whether some of the group’s projects to develop environmentally friendly technology are within its remit for lending.

The EIB could lend Saab much less than the car maker wants, the paper wrote.

“There are questions about whether a number of development projects fit with the EIB’s rules for lending,” the paper quoted a source with insight into the process saying.

Koenigsegg, backed by U.S. and Norwegian investors, struck a preliminary acquisition deal earlier this year, but concerns have continued to surface over whether it had the financial muscle to buy and run Saab.

Koenigsegg is in talks with Sweden to secure state guarantees for the EIB loans.

But Dagens Industri said that questions had also been raised regarding the value of collateral that would be placed with Sweden’s Debt Office to secure a guarantee from the
government.

“There is a discussion as to whether Saab’s assets shouldn’t be valued at their worth in the event of insolvency rather at market value,” the source said.

“In that case, the collateral would not be enough security for a loan of 4.3 billion crowns.”

Koenigsegg Chief Executive and part owner Christian von Koenigsegg told Reuters on Saturday there was good progress in talks to secure the guarantees and the group aimed to finalise Saab’s acquisition by the end of October. [ID:nLQ720794]

He played down a report that Koenigsegg could pull out of the deal unless there was progress on securing loans by Wednesday.

This month, Koenigsegg said state-run Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings would take a minority stake in the luxury carmaker as part of its planned purchase, easing funding
worries.

Swedish state secretary Joran Hagglund told Reuters on Tuesday he hoped the EIB would decide on the loan on Oct. 21 or the day after.

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Koenigsegg CEO Still Aims For Saab Deal By October

Posted on 27. Sep, 2009 by .

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Koenigsegg’s CEO, Christian Von Koenigsegg, whom I interviewed a few weeks ago in Frankfurt, says that the deal to acquire Saab Automobile is still on track to be completed by the end of October according to Reuters.

This news comes immediately following a mis-interpreted story about Koenigsegg Group’s co-owner, BÃ¥rd Eker.

It’s good to know that the Koenigsegg Group is on the ball when it comes to the news about them as their process in securing the deal with Saab by October gets closer.

Koenigsegg CEO says still aims for Saab deal in October

Saturday, September 26, 2009; 11:16 AM

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Koenigsegg’s top executive said on Saturday the luxury sport scar maker still aimed to finalize a deal to buy Saab Automobile from General Motors by the end of October.

Koenigsegg Chief Executive and part owner Christian von Koenigsegg also told Reuters that good progress was being made in talks to secure Swedish state guarantees for billions of crowns of loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

“Our deadline for the deal still remains the end of October as we have previously said,” he said

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