Tag Archives: Eric Geers

GM Reaches Agreement to Sell Saab to Spyker

Posted on 26. Jan, 2010 by .

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saab_saved1

It has been over a year since GM decided to strategically review Saab Automobile, but just over 20 years since they’ve been owned by GM .

Today, Spyker Cars, N.V. acquires Saab Automobile from GM, marking a new era for the company.

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GM Reaches Agreement to Sell Saab to Spyker

2010-01-26

DETROIT – General Motors and Spyker Cars NV today confirmed that they have reached a binding agreement on the purchase of Saab Automobile AB.

“Today’s announcement is great news for Saab employees, dealers and suppliers, great news for millions of Saab customers and fans worldwide, and great news for GM,” said John Smith, GM vice president for corporate planning and alliances.

“General Motors, Spyker Cars, and the Swedish government worked very hard and creatively for a deal that would secure a sustainable future for this unique and iconic brand, and we’re all happy for the positive outcome,” Smith said.

As part of the agreement, Spyker intends to form a new company, Saab Spyker Automobiles, which will carry the Saab brand forward. 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 will be disclosed in due time.

The Swedish government is at present reviewing the transaction and the related request for guarantees of a Saab Automobile loan that has been requested from the European Investment Bank. Assuming quick action, the transaction is expected to close in mid-February, and previously announced wind down activities at Saab will be immediately suspended, pending the close of the transaction.

“Throughout the negotiations, GM has always had the hope to find a solution for Saab that would avoid a wind down of the brand,” added Nick Reilly, president, GM Europe. “We’ve worked with many parties over the past year, including governments and investors, and I’m very pleased that we could come to such a good conclusion, one that preserves jobs in Sweden and elsewhere. GM will continue to support Saab and Spyker on their way forward.”

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About General Motors: General Motors, one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 204,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM’s largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Italy. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

Saab background: Saab entered the auto business in 1949 with the first model 92. Its aerodynamic shape and advanced technology drew from the company’s roots as an aircraft maker, and helped create what was to become a loyal and passionate customer base. GM acquired a 50 percent stake in Saab in 1990, and acquired the balance of Saab in 2000. As part of its strategy to focus on its four strongest brands in the U.S., GM began seeking a buyer for Saab in January 2009, a concerted effort that led to today’s announcement.

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Tom Wilkinson
Tel: 313-667-0366
Mobile: 313-378-6233
tom.wilkinson@gm.com

Eric Geers
Saab Communications
Tel: +46 520 85110
Mobile: +46 703 205490
eric.geers@gm.com

John McDonald
General Motors Company
Phone: 313-667-3714
Mobile: 313-418-2139
john.m.mcdonald@gm.com

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Saab Conference Call Scheduled 2:00PM EST

2010-01-26

John Smith, vice president, global planning and alliances, will host a conference call for media at 2:00 p.m. EST (8:00 p.m. CET) to provide additional perspective on Saab.

· (800) 398-9367 (U.S.)
· +1 (612) 332-0226 (international/caller-paid)
· No access code is required
· Please provide your name and affiliation and ask for the GM conference call

An audio file of this call will be available shortly after the end of the call at http://media.gm.com.

Technical/broadcast questions:
Steve Griffes
313-220-7982 (mobile)
steven.l.griffes@gm.com

Tom Wilkinson
Tel: 313-667-0366
Mobile: 313-378-6233
tom.wilkinson@gm.com

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The Saab Automobile Factory Continues Production Today!

Posted on 11. Jan, 2010 by .

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Photos Will Be Coming Soon

The Saab Automobile factory continues production today as I mentioned it would earlier, after a 4-week hiatus according to Saab Automobile as indicated on TTELA.

“The production run will also include a few all new Saab 9-5’s as well” according to Eric Geers, Saab Automobile’s Global Communications Manager.

At 8 o’clock, the first Saab 9-3 Convertible in history was built in Trollhättan, following years in Graz, Austria, and initially in Uusikaupunki, Finland. I bet the factory workers were pretty excited to built their first convertible ever in Sweden today!

In addition to the convertible, the 9-3 model range and the old 9-5 wagon will continue to be produced.

Here is the article below loosely translated:

First convertible built!

TROLLHÄTTAN amidst of all the turmoil surrounding the future took Saab Automobile in Trollhättan in to write a little company history on Monday morning.

– The first 9-3 Convertible in Trollhättan produced here today, “said Eric Geers, Communications Director at Saab Automobile.

– It was on the line at 8 o’clock.

9-3 Cab has been returned to Trollhattan, having previously been in Austria.

The start of it and other models on Monday morning came after a four-week break. It was so good it was now, a typical day at work for employees.

– We are 9-3 and one or another of the old 9-5, “said Paul Akerlund, club chairman for IF Metall.

– It can also be one of the new 9-5, “he says.

But when it is on the Test series in different pace and with more manual tasks than it could be in the future.

Parts of the tools necessary for the production of the new 9-5 is still in Germany at the Opel plant in Rüsselsheim.

While production of the drug once again in Trollhättan, Sweden on Monday morning was GM’s liquidation documents at Companies Registration Office desk in Sundsvall assessment.

– It is too early to say when we are ready to appoint a liquidator, “
said Per Nordstrom, general counsel at the SCRO.
– But it will be ready within the next few days.

Until the liquidator has been appointed managing director Jan-Ake Jonsson, Saab’s board of directors and continued control over the leadership of Saab.
The liquidation described in Trollhättan happen in an orderly manner and the aim is to achieve a so-called solvent liquidation, which means ability to pay against the creditors and customers, while the closure is done.

It is also apparent that Saab’s board of directors and CEO must not thwart a liquidation.

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Saab Automobile Factory To Resume Production Jan 11th

Posted on 30. Dec, 2009 by .

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Saab History has learned that the Saab Automobile factory is to resume production on January 11th, 2010.

According to Eric Geers at Saab, the factory will resume production on the the following models. The 2010 Saab 9-3x, the 2010 Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan & SportCombi, and the 2010 Saab 9-3 Convertible recently moved from Austria.

It has also been confirmed that the all new Saab 9-5 will not be in production on January 11th as it is scheduled to begin full production in April.

Of course, all of this is depends on the outcome with the new buyer for Saab Automobile which we hope is completed next week.

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TTELA Reports, Saab-Spyker Deal Only Hours Away

Posted on 19. Dec, 2009 by .

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kristina

Photo Credit: Stefan Bennhage / TTELA

Kristina Geers, Saab Automobile’s lawyer who Saab History covered last month had apparently prepared the contract and was about ready to complete the contract within hours, then heard that everything was over while she was in the Airport in Goteborg according to TTELA.

Everyone was and still is surprised, so why did GM decide to just throw in the towel and turn on everyone again?

Here’s the report below.

Saab’s General Counsel Kristina Geer was sitting in the airplane in Landvetter, having prepared the contract with her when she suddenly heard the news that everything was over.

Deal with GM only hours away

TROLLHÄTTAN: A deal with Spyker Cars was only hours away when GM suddenly pulled the handbrake. The day after, everyone is asking the same question: Why?

GM’s decision to close down Saab was incredibly dramatic when it arrived on Friday afternoon. And the picture that is now being painted about how it happened further increases the drama.

According to information to TTELA, a deal between GM and Spyker was only hours away when GM suddenly called the whole thing off. This view is confirmed this Saturday afternoon by Saab’s Information Manager, Eric Geers.

– We were on our way up to Stockholm to sign the contracts. Then something happened. But what? No idea, he says.

Saab’s Chief Legal Counsel Kristina Geers was on the plane at Landvetter Airport, carrying the prepared contracts, when she suddenly received notice that the whole thing was called off.

A few hours earlier, Saab boss Jan Åke Jonsson had on the phone recieved the dramatic and unexpected fatal notice from GM. In the morning, there was then a meeting where GM announced that they didn’t intend to continue the process.

According to Eric Geers, Saab were not the only ones to be surprised.

– This came as a huge surprise to Victor Muller (Spyker’s CEO) as well, Geers says. Victor Muller was on location in Stockholm, also in the belief that he would sign the contracts.

– We were well on our way, and I have to give credit to Spyker Cars. They have shown enormous commitment in this matter.

Saab had hoped to announce the deal as an early Christmas gift to their employees next week.

Unconfirmed information also claims that a decision by the European Investment Bank, EIB, on Saab’s loan application wasn’t far off. The conditions were thus in place for a signed declaration of intent to soon be followed by a binding agreement.

And after Saab’s deal with Beijing Automotive earlier this week, there was money on hand which enabled the deadline to be extended. If GM had had the will.

No official explanation for why GM now stopped the deal has yet been given. A rumour says that it was Spyker’s major owner, the banker Vladimir Antonov, that gave GM cold feet. But one could argue that this explanation is flawed.

Antonov’s role in Spyker is known. If that was a problem, GM and Deutsche Bank could have rejected Spyker much earlier.

Another theory is that the new GM management wanted to show decisiveness.

That would then mean that GM had already decided to close Saab – that the last weeks were just placating.

Magnus Nordberg

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Saab Automobile Stops Production For 4 Weeks

Posted on 07. Dec, 2009 by .

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According to SVT in Sweden, Saab Automobile has apparently stopped production for the next four weeks.

The reasoning behind this work stoppage which is normal during this time of year, is to allow the transfer to full-time production of the all new Saab 9-5 which we’ve seen in pre-production models thathave already rolled off the line in addition to the Saab 9-3 Convertible which is being transferred from Graz, Austria.

Saab stops production

Saab stops production at the factory in Trollhattan during four weeks at the end of the year.

Production resumed again in the second week into the new year.

The reason is that the factory need to be prepared for the production of the new 9-5 and the convertible model of the 9-3 who moved from Austria to Trollhättan.

“It is no strange and all stakeholders are informed as to what applies,” says Eric Geers, Director of Communications for Saab, told Dagens Industri.

Usually, Saab halt production for two weeks at Christmas and New Year holidays.

TT

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Saab Automobile Being Split Into Five Divisions

Posted on 06. Dec, 2009 by .

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Goteborg, Sweden’s post have just released a story that discusses the Swedish Debt office’s requirement for Saab Automobile to split up into five divisions, Powertrain, Parts, Property, Tools and Investering.

It is important to emphasize says Saab Automobile’s Eric Geers, that this was required by the Swedish Debt office as simply a requirement and not for a break-up of the company.

This process which has already been completed, has made it possible for the old Saab 9-5 tooling acquisition to be had with BAIC as recently reported. […]

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The Complete Sale Of Saab May Take Until Next Year

Posted on 04. Dec, 2009 by .

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Trollhattan’s TTELA reports that the complete sale of Saab may take until next year having learned this news from Saab Automobile’s own, Eric Geers.

Saab business may take until next year

GM gave Saab a respite of 30 days to find a new owner. This does not mean the deal should be completely finished before the year end. Until then, however, all suitors for Saab will be analyzed and rated. Except one, who may proceed to final stage.

The response of GM’s decision on Tuesday from Eric Geers, Communications Director at Saab in Trollhattan.

– Absolutely. No one expects a completely closed the sale before the end of the year. But we have come so far that such an agreement or an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding, a letter of intent) will be soon “said Geers.

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BAIC, Merbanco & Renco Speculated As Bidders For Saab

Posted on 26. Nov, 2009 by .

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Bloomberg is now reporting that the “usual suspects” we heard about in the beginning of the year, which include BAIC of course as well as the 2nd and 3rd bidders, Merbanco & Renco, are back.

This is all like a time warp back to the bidding process we saw in the early part of the year.

We’ll all learn what will be taking place by Tuesday which will be here soon enough.

Beijing Auto, Merbanco, Renco Said to Make Approaches on Saab

By Serena Saitto, Ola Kinnander and Jeff Green

Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) — Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., Merbanco Inc. and Renco Group Inc. have made approaches about General Motors Co.’s Saab unit after the collapse of a sale to Koenigsegg Group, said two people familiar with the situation.

No written proposals have been submitted and any new bids or other options for the Swedish unit will be reviewed by Detroit-based GM’s board at a meeting on Dec. 1, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are confidential.

Koenigsegg said Nov. 24 that it pulled out of talks to acquire Saab, saying it ran out of time to complete the transaction. Beijing Automotive was a partner in the Swedish investor group. While GM directors might opt to keep Saab, as they did with the Opel division this month, GM has a contingency plan that calls for winding down the brand, people familiar with the plan have said.

Beijing Automotive said yesterday that it will “cautiously” reconsider plans to buy a stake in the unprofitable Swedish carmaker. A Beijing Automotive spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment today.

Merbanco is a Wyoming-based investor group. President Christopher Johnston said in an interview today that Merbanco would be willing to help Saab. When asked whether that could include acquiring a majority stake in the carmaker, he said: “That could be one way.”

Renco spokesman John Dillard didn’t return a phone call.

Chris Preuss, a GM spokesman, and Saab’s Eric Geers declined to comment.

Merbanco was among suitors that lost the bidding in June to Koenigsegg, a person familiar with the process said at the time. Renco, owned by billionaire Ira Rennert, had also expressed interest.

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