Tag Archives: COO

Saab History Interviews Joel Manby About Undercover Boss

Posted on 24. Mar, 2010 by .

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Saab History has had the great chance once again to interview Joel Manby, Saab Cars USA’s former President (1996-2000). This interview is about about his recently mentioned experience on the CBS television series “Undercover Boss”.

A sincere thank you to Joel for his input about this series prior to the air date this Sunday night, March 28th at 9pm EST. I particularly like his last response pertaining to Saab Automobile.

Enjoy the interview below:

1) How did you initially get involved in CBS “Undercover Boss”?

The producers contacted us. They were looking for an entertainment company and theme parks provide a good visual background. Because we are independently owned, not associated with a media conglomerate, and have a variety of properties—-theme parks, aquariums, sightseeing operations— we were a good option for them.

2) What were some of the areas of the program that interested you most?

At first we were very skeptical. Anytime someone proactively approaches us and wants to produce a television show on our property, then healthy skepticism follows. But as we engaged in serious dialogue with them, we realized that they were really searching for companies who would embrace the concept and be willing to hold the mirror up to see what we could learn about ourselves. This wasn’t a scripted television program but rather an honest look at our employees and their roles within our organization. I know that when I visit our properties that I get special treatment, even though I don’t want it or ask for it. This was a unique opportunity to work the front lines in a way that I would never be able
to do currently. I know we have terrific employees—and I wanted to witness first-hand how dedicated and passionate our employees are as they interact with our guests to ‘create memories worth repeating’. I didn’t just want to observe, I wanted to participate and feel their passion. So, highlighting the good people of Herschend Family Entertainment was important to me.
[…]

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The North American Saab 9-5 Debut & Press Conference

Posted on 28. Oct, 2009 by .

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Video Credit: Saab History

This past Friday, the all new Saab 9-5 made its North American debut at the Miami Auto Show.

At this minimalist event with all of the right Scandinavian modern touches, Mike Colleran, the new COO for Saab Cars North America, presented to the media, the new era for Saab Automobile along with the all new Saab 9-5.

This press conference took place just over a month since the global debut of the all new Saab 9-5 back on September 15th in Frankfurt.

This press conference, although naturally smaller in scale than the global conference was in my opinion as an observer, was much more inspirational. This press conference left me with a good feeling about the future for Saab when I finally got to hear the following words from Saab after all of these years, coming from none other than Mike Colleran.

The words were “Welcome back to the company that thinks a little differently.”.

This welcoming customers back quote, reminds me of my interview with Knut Simonsson and is beginning to resonate with me in terms of this humble and gentle approach Saab is making with new the new era.

A job well done by Mike Colleran and staff at the new Saab Cars North America. As you continue to listen and welcome your customers back as it appears you are doing, you will succeed.

A thank you to Alejandra of Blue Hope video productions in Miami for providing the video footage as well as Bruce W for providing the photography.

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Mike Colleran As COO For Saab Cars North America, Inc.

Posted on 03. Sep, 2009 by .

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Film Credit: Saab History, thanks to Cherry Hill Saab of NJ & Tynan’s Saab of Fort Collins, CO

Saab History just received the following information from a number of Saab dealerships in the United States.

Mike Colleran has been named as President & Chief Operating Officer of the future Saab Cars North America organization. This is very good news, and having met him at the recent 2009 Saab Owners Convention, I am happy to hear how this process will unfold in the United States.

More details coming shortly.

Today, I would like to announce the next step forward in anticipation of a renewed Saab presence in North America with the appointment of Michael “Mike” Colleran as President and Chief Operating Officer of Saab Cars North America.

Mike has been a member of the Saab USA team since 2005 and most recently served as Sales Director for the General Motors Premium brands which include Saab, Cadillac, and HUMMER. Mike started his career with General Motors in 1989 after serving in the U.S. Military and has served in various sales, service and marketing roles during his twenty-year automotive career.

As we ready to finalize the sale to Koenigsegg group AB in the next months, Mike will be forming a new Saab team with the responsibility of preparing Saab and its partners for independent operations in North American markets. Those appointments will be announced at a later date.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you again for all for your unwavering support during the last months and I would ask you to remain focused as we move into the next exciting chapter of Saab Automobile’s history.

Best regards,
Jan Ã…ke Jonsson

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GM COO States “Saab is key to GM but has to perform”

Posted on 07. Oct, 2008 by .

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Fritz Henderson, General Motor’s new COO has recently indicated to just-auto.com that the Saab brand is “strategically important to GM and is “key to GM, but has to perform”

With Saab Automobile being important to General Motors, I wonder why GM just can’t just provide more money towards the brand and get the products out sooner, such as the new small car touted as a 9-1, the 9-3x Cross-Combi and of course the 9-4x and next generation 9-5.

I have to agree with my arch nemesis (and this is a rare occasion), but the spending on Cadillac in Europe has been a collossal waste of time and resources that needed to go to Saab in the first place. So the question is here, are there lessens that have been learned here in this exercise and is it now clear that Saab is the obvious beneficiary for GM afterall especially since it’s “key”?

There’s an old saying that, “you can’t make money unless you spend money”, so maybe we can begin applying this statement more and more with the Saab Automobile brand as GM continues to realize just how “key” they really are.

Here is a brief summary on just-auto.com. If anyone has access to this, please let me know.

Date: 6 October 2008

INTERVIEW: Saab is key to GM but has to perform – GM’s Henderson

This article is locked. You need to be a Registered User of just-auto to view this article.

Summary: As GM looks to offload its Hummer brand, how does the company feel about perennial financial underachiever Saab? GM COO Fritz Henderson tells Dave Leggett that while the brand is strategically important to GM, it is no sacred cow and has to perform. Read the complete article…

Source: just-auto.com editorial team

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9-7X, Saab’s First SUV, Stars in

Posted on 21. Feb, 2005 by .

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Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

2005-02-21

9-7X, Saab’s First SUV, Stars in

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – The all-new Saab 9-7X takes to the runway this week as part of the fourth annual “ten” fashion show. The 9-7X joins several other GM products at what has become a must-attend event for Hollywood’s entertainment industry luminaries.

The charity-driven event will showcase top celebrities wearing the latest fashions paired with stylish cars and trucks. The event will highlight current concept cars and production vehicles as they are revealed to an audience of Hollywood’s elite in a runway show on February 22 on the corner of Hollywood and Vine.

Oscar Nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno and Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee, Jamie Foxx, will model in the show. Combining fashion, automotive design, and top entertainment, the charity-driven event will also include celebrities, sports figures and rock stars including four-time NASCAR champion, Jeff Gordon, Red Hot Chili Pepper’s lead singer, Anthony Kiedis, Emmy nominee Amber Tamblyn, Hilary and Haylie Duff and a performance by Grammy winner Kanye West.

The 9-7X goes on sale in the United States this spring with very attractive pricing. Saab’s first-ever SUV will come in two models: the Linear, priced at $38,990.00 and the Arc, priced at $40,990.00. Both MSRP’s include a $720.00 destination charge.

The 9-7X SUV is just one part of the most aggressive product development offensive in Saab’s 57-year history. It joins the 9-3 Sport Sedan and Convertible, the 9-5 Sedan and SportWagon and the all-wheel drive 9-2X, as well as the upcoming all-new Saab 9-3 SportCombi and the 250-hp 2.8V6 Turbo, which will become available in all 9-3 Aero models later this year.

The 9-7X Linear features standard all-wheel drive, leather-appointed heated front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, side-curtain airbags, integrated roof rails, OnStar, XM Satellite Radio, 6-CD Bose audio system and a choice between a moonroof or a rear-DVD entertainment system.

It is powered by an in-line 6-cylinder engine that makes 275 hp and 275 lb.-ft. of torque. The 9-7X Arc adds xenon headlamps, adjustable pedals, headlamp washers and a 300-hp/330 lb.-ft. V8.

The 9-7X continues Saab’s tradition of a cockpit-inspired instrument panel with its signature sliding-plate vents, in-dash cupholder and center console-mounted ignition. The Saab 9-7X can be ordered in Obsidian Black, Titanium Silver and Ocean Blue.

Saab is making the 9-7X SUV even more attractive with a limited special offer. By registering before March 31, 2005, customers who purchase or lease a 2005 9-7X will get three years of free OnStar “Safe & Sound” and XM Satellite Radio service, a $700.00 value. In addition, current Saab drivers whose leases expire in February, March or April will qualify for a lease extension of up to six months to enable them to take delivery of a new 2005 9-7X.

Saab will target potential customers with a direct mail campaign by the end of February 2005. This mailing will direct prospects to the Saab 9-7X website, www.saab97Xsuv.com. Once customers have registered at this website, they will automatically receive the additional free services once they take delivery of their 2005 9-7X. Interested customers can go directly to the website even if they did not receive the mailing from Saab.

“The 9-7X joins the Saab lineup at the right time because the demand for premium midsize SUV’s is strong,” said Debra Kelly-Ennis, President and COO of Saab USA. “About forty percent of current Saab owners already have an SUV of another make in their garage, while nearly 30 percent of Saab owners have left the brand for an SUV in the past. With the 9-7X, Saab will be able to take advantage of the continued growth in this segment.”

On top of that, the Saab 9-7X SUV represents outstanding value for money, especially when compared with the Volvo XC90. Not only has the 9-7X more headroom, legroom, towing capability and engine torque, it is also priced at over $8,000.00 less than a comparably equipped XC90 V8.

Saab Automobile AB and Saab Cars USA, Inc. are subsidiary companies of General Motors Corp. Saab Cars USA is the importer of Saab 9-2X, 9-3 and 9-5 automobiles for Saab Automobile AB, Sweden. For more information, please visit www.saabusa.com.

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Power and versatility, Saab style All-new Saab 9-3 SportCombi

Posted on 14. Feb, 2005 by .

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Photo Credits: Saab Automobile

2005-02-14

Power and versatility, Saab style All-new Saab 9-3 SportComb
i

DETROIT, Mich./TROLLHÄTTAN, Sweden — The all-new Saab 9-3 SportCombi, announced today, takes Saab into the premium, mid-size wagon segment for the first time by combining distinctive design, sporty driving dynamics and the functionality of a five-door.

Its strong, compact proportions are a bold reaffirmation of a Saab tradition of designing cars that are sporty in character and versatile in use. The cohesive five-door styling and solid, muscular stance give the 9-3 SportCombi a clear, stand-out identity within the Saab 9-3 range.

Making its public debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show and due to go on sale in Europe and the United States from the fourth quarter of 2005, the 9-3 SportCombi will appeal to customers who require the versatility of a wagon, including smart load-carrying features and a generously proportioned cargo area, without compromising their desire for driving satisfaction.

The SportCombi rounds out Saab’s best selling range of cars, the 9-3. 27,139 Saab 9-3’s were sold in 2004, over 6,100 of which were convertibles. The newest 9-3 proudly carries on the Saab tradition of five door models that began in 1959 with the Saab 95 Wagon. In 1973, Saab launched another landmark design with the innovative Combi Coupe. Of the more than 500,000 Saabs on the road in the United States today, nearly 50 percent are hatchbacks.

Building on Saab’s reputation for progressive design and high fun-to-drive quotient, the 9-3 SportCombi is poised to open up major new sales opportunities for the brand.

The high performance Aero model features an all-new turbocharged V6 that makes 250- hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine will also be available in the 2006 9-3 Aero Sport Sedan and 9-3 Aero Convertible. The SportCombi can also be ordered with Saab’s 210-hp in-line 4-cylinder turbo.

Debra Kelly-Ennis, president and COO of Saab USA, said, “The turbo V6 in the 9-3 Aero SportCombi and other 9-3 Aero models will give drivers more of what they expect in the Saab driving experience – ready torque throughout the rev range, high rpm power, smoothness and refinement. The SportCombi V6 joins the all-wheel drive 9-7X SUV and a revised 9-5 to make 2005 the biggest product launch year in Saab’s history.”

Progressive design

With a wedge-like profile and Saab ‘signature’ styling cues, the close-coupled proportions of the 9-3 SportCombi include a surprisingly spacious cargo area (volume with the cargo cover in place and the rear seat up and folded is, respectively, 14.8 cu.ft. and 44.95 cu. ft. and useful load-carrying features.

Sporty, distinct alternative to conventional wagon proportions. Saab traditional ‘hockey stick’ belt-line and ‘fastback’ rear quarter styling with steeply raked taillight lenses and LED bulbs.

TwinFloor stowage facility. By pulling the chrome, aircraft-shaped handle, the main cargo area floor lifts to divide the space into two separate sections and to reveal additional storage in the recessed sub-floor. The optional sub-woofer is located in the spare wheel storage well.

The 9-3 SportCombi has zero lift levels at both axles (0.00 Clf and 0.00 Clr). The car has an excellent drag coefficient of 0.33 and impressive high-speed stability. The integrated rear roof spoiler is standard.

Strong performance

The impressive powertrain line-up is led by the launch of a sophisticated new 2.8V6 Turbo engine. The SportCombi inherits the outstanding chassis dynamics of the Sport Sedan, with a ‘fun-to-drive’ appeal that concedes nothing to its functionality as a versatile, five-door car.

New aluminum 2.8V6 Turbo. 250 bhp/184 kW, exclusive to top-of-the-line Aero, with 32-valves, DOHC, variable intake valve timing and a twin-scroll turbocharger.

The unique Saab ReAxs rear wheel steer characteristic from the Sport Sedan gives enhanced driver feedback and control for excellent handling and stability.

The rigid five-door body structure provides a solid foundation for the car’s sporty handling, refinement and outstanding safety characteristics. Torsional rigidity (21,000 Nm/degree) only marginally less than that of the Sport Sedan, despite the open five-door body format.

New generation Saab-tuned ESP and ESP Plus. All 2.8V6 Turbo variants include ESP Plus, with Hill Start Assist for manual gearboxes to prevent roll back.

“Although the SportCombi is a natural extension of the 9-3 range, it has a fresh character all of its own. In the tradition of the Saab brand, it is not simply a ‘me too’ type of product,” says Peter Augustsson, Saab Automobile President and CEO.

“Its progressive design and dynamic talents are intended to resolve any conflict between the rationality of need and the passion of desire. Customers will see it as a car that meets the demands of their lifestyle while still satisfying their desire for a sporty, fun-to-drive experience.”

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New Advertising Campaign: “Distinctly Designed. Independently Inspired.”

Posted on 14. Feb, 2005 by .

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2005-02-14

New Advertising Campaign: “Distinctly Designed. Independently Inspired.” SAAB OFFERS THE “ANTIDOTE TO SAMENESS”

DETROIT, Mich. — No one wants to be a cliché, but in today’s world it can sometimes feel inevitable. When everything seems more and more the same, from the clothes we wear to the houses we live in, it’s hard to feel original. Yet many people long to break free and express themselves — to escape from the mainstream. Saab USA taps into this urge in its newest ad campaign from Lowe New York, offering its distinctive products as the “antidote to sameness.”

Saab’s campaign, which supports the most aggressive product development program in its 57-year history, breaks nationally today. It includes :15, :30, and :60-second television spots, print executions, internet and direct mail strategies that will encourage consumers to “maintain your identity.”

Saab’s product expansion began in 2003 with the introduction of the 9-3 Sport Sedan and Convertible, which today account for 71 percent of Saab’s U. S. sales. Those cars were followed in 2004 by the introduction of the five-door 9-2X, Saab’s first all-wheel drive car and its first entry into the premium sport compact segment. 2005 will see the all-new 9-7X, Saab’s first SUV; the addition of the SportCombi hatchback to the 9-3 range; and significant revisions to the flagship 9-5 models. A 250-hp turbocharged V6 will also be available in 9-3 Aero models in 2005.

“Saab is fortunate to have established a very distinct brand image in the minds of consumers over the years,” says Debra Kelly-Ennis, president and COO of Saab USA. “Saabs are associated with independence, individuality and challenging convention. They promise progressive design, driver-focused performance and surprising versatility. Our new campaign builds on this heritage and makes it relevant to today’s customer.”

The first television spot in the series, “Lost,” depicts just how numbing the plight of everyday life can be in a world that can seem eerily uniform and uninspiring. Scenes include a man lost in his own office amid a vast cubical farm and a woman in a store trying on a dress only to find two other women considering the same one. Cut to shots of a housing development maze of cookie-cutter “McMansions,” and finally to a man lost in a parking lot of cars that all seem to look alike.

As the man clicks his remote key fob to find his car, we hear the roar of a Saab engine. The man turns to take in an iconic Saab 9-3 convertible coming around the corner, as “I’m Free,” by BMG Music Publishing writer Pete Townsend and Universal Music artists The Who plays in the background. As the Saab cruises by, the voiceover states, “Individuality may be a bit harder to find these days. But it’s not impossible. Saab. Distinctively Designed. Independently Inspired.” A super appears at the end with the tagline, “The State of Independence.”

“We’re zeroing in on people who are independent thinkers,” said Gary Goldsmith, chairman and chief creative officer of Lowe New York. “These are discerning people more interested in expressing themselves than fitting into some cookie-cutter image.”

Television spots featuring the Saab brand and specific products launched on the 2005 Grammys and will appear in a variety of targeted cable networks including A&E, Bravo, VH1, Discovery and ESPN as well as network television. Print ads will run in consumer magazines and newspapers. Web and direct mail also are part of Saab’s integrated plan and will be used for more tactical messages.

Saab Automobile AB and Saab Cars USA is the importer of Saab 9-2X, 9-3 and 9-5 automobiles for Saab Automobile AB, Sweden. For more information, please visit www.saabusa.com.

Lowe New York is the flagship office of Lowe & Partners Worldwide. Lowe New York is a member of The Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG), one of the world’s leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services companies. www.loweworldwide.com

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Saab Announces 9-7X SUV Pricing

Posted on 11. Feb, 2005 by .

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2005-02-11

Saab Announces 9-7X SUV Pricing

DETROIT, Mich. — The all-new Saab 9-7X goes on sale in the United States this spring with very attractive pricing. Saab’s first-ever SUV will come in two models: the Linear, priced at $38,990.00 and the Arc, priced at $40,990.00. Both MSRP’s include a $720.00 destination charge.

The 9-7X SUV is just one part of the most aggressive product development offensive in Saab’s 57-year history. It joins the 9-3 Sport Sedan and Convertible, the 9-5 Sedan and SportWagon and the all-wheel drive 9-2X, as well as the upcoming all-new Saab 9-3 SportCombi and the 250-hp 2.8V6 Turbo, which will become available in all 9-3 Aero models later this year.

The 9-7X Linear features standard all-wheel drive, leather-appointed heated front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, side-curtain airbags, integrated roof rails, OnStar, XM Satellite Radio, 6-CD Bose audio system and a choice between a moonroof or a rear-DVD entertainment system. It is powered by an in-line 6-cylinder engine that makes 275 hp and 275 lb.-ft. of torque. The 9-7X Arc adds xenon headlamps, adjustable pedals, headlamp washers and a 300-hp/330 lb.-ft. V8.

Saab owners will feel right at home in the 9-7X, which has the familiar cockpit-inspired instrument panel, signature sliding-plate vents, in-dash cupholder and center console-mounted ignition. The Saab 9-7X can be ordered in Obsidian Black, Titanium Silver and Ocean Blue.

Saab is making the 9-7X SUV even more attractive with a limited special offer. By registering before March 31, 2005, customers who purchase or lease a 2005 9-7X will get three years of free OnStar “Safe & Sound” and XM Satellite Radio service, a $700.00 value. In addition, current Saab drivers whose leases expire in February, March or April will qualify for a lease extension of up to six months to enable them to take delivery of a new 2005 9-7X.

Saab will target potential customers with a direct mail campaign by the end of February 2005. This mailing will direct prospects to the Saab 9-7X website, www.saab97Xsuv.com. Once customers have registered at this website, they will automatically receive the additional free services once they take delivery of their 2005 9-7X. Interested customers can go directly to the website even if they did not receive the mailing from Saab.

“The 9-7X joins the Saab lineup at the right time because the demand for premium midsize SUV’s is strong,” said Debra Kelly-Ennis, President and COO of Saab USA. “About forty percent of current Saab owners already have an SUV of another make in their garage, while nearly 30 percent of Saab owners have left the brand for an SUV in the past. With the 9-7X, Saab will be able to take advantage of the continued growth in this segment.”

On top of that, the Saab 9-7X SUV represents outstanding value for money, especially when compared with the Volvo XC90. Not only has the 9-7X more headroom, legroom, towing capability and engine torque, it is also priced at over $8,000.00 less than a comparably equipped XC90 V8.

Saab Automobile AB and Saab Cars USA, Inc. are subsidiary companies of General Motors Corp. Saab Cars USA is the importer of Saab 9-2X, 9-3 and 9-5 automobiles for Saab Automobile AB, Sweden. For more information,

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