Tag Archives: general Manager

Saab History Welcomes Exclusive Motors As Sponsor

Posted on 17. Feb, 2010 by .


Photo Credits: Exclusive Motors

Saab History welcomes Exclusive Motors in Los Angeles as a premium sponsor. The owner of the company, Jeremy Morrissey is a proud supporter of Saab History, and is no stranger to Saab’s history.

Morrissey started out as a Saab mechanic at a dealer no longer in business where he was a quick study. In a short amount of time, he transitioned into a sales rep working at what was at the time, the top selling Saab dealership in the United States, Ramsey Saab, as shown in the 1985 Saab Scania of America dealership development video (4:48). At this dealership, he became one of the top selling sales reps in the country, working there from approximately 1988 until 1995 under the leadership of the owner, Ray Van Duren. His experience was unique as Van Duren was quite an influential dealer at this time where he pushed for variations of Saab products that sold such as the Monte Carlo yellow convertible, platana grey convertible, power seats in the 9000 in 1989 while ensuring that the SPG would continue production in 1990 and 1991 model years. After speaking with Jeremy, he seems to have an emotional attachment to the experience with Ray.

Following this launch of his career for nearly a decade at Ramsey Saab, he continued to explore other Saab dealerships to apply his unique marketing skill in New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Spending a significant amount of time in the North East, he decided to move out to the good weather in sunny California, to become the general Manager of Saab of Santa Monica from 2001 until 2008. Here, he turned this dealer into the #2 volume dealer in the country and #1 in the Western region.

As the economy hit the automotive landscape hard in 2008, he decided to finally open Exclusive Motors, his own independent facility. He reflects on the time he has had working with Saab since the early eighties and says that “he has made some of the best friends he has ever had” and believes that “the close knit nature of the Saab dealerships allowed for good relationships amongst employees and customers to be there through thick and thin”

Taking on the ideas of how the dealership network can be influential, Morrissey contributed to a number of advertisement campaigns over the years.

In addition, he has contributed to product additions much like his former boss did, ensuring that the then new 9-5 came equipped with leather door panels opposed to the cloth it was introduced with. It was at the 1997 Jubilee in Sweden where he spoke with the then President of Saab Automobile AB, Bob Hendry, which ensured that this product change became a reality. Other product initiatives also included the design package in the ’02 9-3 SE convertible.

When he looks back at all of the great times he has had with Saab here in the United States, 1992 was his best year overall. That being said, it was a former colleague of his that put him in touch with Saab History and eventually took ownership of a vehicle that meant a great deal to him, that was the 1992 Saab 900 Turbo project. Spending a significant amount of time and resources to personally restore this vehicle, I was very happy to learn that it would be going to a good home in a place where it would be cared for. Since the sale, I have learned that it has been further restored utilizing original parts that he has been saving for 18 years such as a new windshield, leather seats, etc. Today, Morrissey proudly displays this vehicle in the showroom at Exclusive Motors.

Today, he continues his pursuit in carrying the Saab torch by restoring nearly 15 classic Saab models to their original appearance, with original parts he has been storing away for nearly 20 years. These vehicles include very low 1987 900 Turbo rose quartz, 1991 9000 Turbo 5-Door, 1991 Beryl Green SPG, 1992 900 Turbo 3-door, 1992 9000 CD Griffin Edition, 1993-1997 Aero & Anniversary Edition, 1993 900 CE, 1993 900 Emola Red convertible, 1994 900 Eucalyptus convertible and 1994 900 CE Convertible.

A historian in his own right from his experience and passion from working with Saab, Morrissey is thrilled to see Saab owned by an exclusive and unique brand.

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Saab History Interviews Kjell-Ake Eriksson, General Director Of Saab Sweden

Posted on 18. Sep, 2009 by .


Film Credits: Saab History

At the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, I had the great opportunity to interview Kjell-Ã…ke Eriksson, newly appointed General Manager of Saab Automobile Sweden.

Mr. Eriksson shared his time in this interview to give us a truly positive direction for not only Saab Automobile as a company, but the new products such as the 9-3x and all new 9-5. A sincere thank you to him to give us his personal thoughts about the new direction for Saab. The best quote in his interview was about Saab’s focus about Saab being “made by Trolls in Trollhattan”.

A thank to Tynan’s Saab & JMK Saab for making it all possible.

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Kjell-Åke Eriksson Appointed To Manage Saab Sweden

Posted on 31. Jul, 2009 by .


Kjell-Ã…ke Eriksson, who Saab History interviewed back in January of 2008 in Detroit at the NAIAS, has now been appointed as General Manager for Saab Automobile in Sweden. I would highly suggest you watch my interview to learn more about him, the interview is just over a year old now, but very relevant to learning about him and his background.

His previous position involved managing Saab in Germany for just about a year, so now he returns to Sweden to continue his long and incredible career with Saab once again in his native land.

Kjell-Ã…ke Eriksson has been appointed General Manager for Saab in Sweden with an effective date of August 17.
In this role Kjell-Ã…ke is replacing Patrik Riese, who has elected to pursue a career outside General Motors.

We would like to thank Patrik for his drive and dedicated work during the years he has been with Saab and General Motors.

Kjell-Ã…ke – currently Managing Director Saab Deautschland – has served in several senior positions and brings a wealth of experience:
Purchasing Manager, Saab-Scania
Chief Engineer, Saab Automobile
Director, Parts & Service, Saab Automobile
Vehicle Line Executive – covering several Saab products

Kjell-Ã…ke has served many years in Sweden, but also in the US and Germany.

The appointment of Kjell-Ã…ke demonstrates our commitment to the Swedish Organization and the importance of the Swedish Market.

We wish him much success in his new assignment and trust on your full support.

In the interim period – until Kjell-Ã…ke is in place on August 17 – all business matters previously requiring the attention of Patrik Riese should be referred to Ralph Gonsalves.

From August 17 there will be a split of responsibilities:
– Business matters related to the Opel and Chevrolet will be handled by Ralph and dedicated Brand Teams.
– Business matters related to the Saab Brand will be handled by Kjell-Ã…ke and a dedicated Brand Team.
This is in line with the organizational steps planned for the three Brands in Sweden.

Jan Ã…ke Jonsson
Managing Director
Saab Automobile AB

Ralph Gonsalves
Regional Executive Director Nordic
General Motors

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Saab Automobile USA Marketing Director Now “U.S. Segment Director For Premium Brands”

Posted on 28. Jan, 2009 by .


As this transition continues for Saab Automobile, I have come to find out that Saab Automobile USA’s marketing director, Roger McCormack whom I interviewed back in January of 2008 is no longer working in the capacity as a sole marketing director for Saab Automobile USA.

Today, he’s now working in the capacity as “U.S. Segment Director – Cadillac, HUMMER, Saab at General Motors”. It’s unfortunate to hear this, but not surprising given the move his peer, Steve Shannon made back in October by moving from solely working with Saab as General Manager, to the “Executive Director, Marketing Of Premium brands, Saab, Cadillac & Hummer).

This means that there is no longer anyone solely responsible for Saab Automobile’s marketing efforts in the United States. The marketing responsibilities now falll in Steve Shannon’s lap, who in my opinion has way too much to do for one person. How much can one single person really do acting as a General Manager & Marketing director for three car brands in the United States? There are just too many responsibilities here.

Since Saab came to U.S. soil back in 1956, there has been enough work to constitute a marketing director and team devoted solely to the Saab’s presence in the United States right up until 2004, before the team was consolidated & subsequently reduced during the move to Detroit from Norcross, Georgia. Evidently, according to GM today, there is no need to have even one person solely devoted to marketing the Saab Automobile in the United States. I don’t agree with this decision and have always said that there hasn’t been enough marketing here in the United States. So the question here is, how will scaling down the department to not even one full-time person, be beneficial to Saab Automobile’s future of marketing in the United States?

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GM Premium Brands North America (Saab, Cadillac & Hummer)

Posted on 28. Oct, 2008 by .


It has been recently indicated that Saab Automobile USA, is now part of the channel now known “GM Premium Brands” North America. GM Premium brands consists of Saab, Cadillac & Hummer. The configuration of these brands is what we’re now seeing in Saab dealerships across the United States.

While the Saab USA name may be used here and there, I expect that to be used less and less internally and only be used as a simple external indicator of the brand in the limited advertising and marketing exercises within the United States.

Furthermore, there is no more president for the Saab brand as well, as the previous president, Steve Shannon while continuing to act as a general manager for Saab, is now also managing director of the premium brands, Cadillac, Hummer & Saab. Mr. Shannon’s time now not 100% devoted to leading Saab Automobile’s operations in the United States, so how can this be beneficial to Saab?

This all means that Saab is officially not receiving any urgent priority in the United States in comparison to other brands, and with a new “premium brands” channel, we should expect this trend to continue.

All of this news may call for a final tagline “Saab, the best kept secret”

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SCUSA President Steve Shannon Manages Premium Brands

Posted on 17. Oct, 2008 by .


Photo Credit: Saab Automobile USA

Saab Automobile USA President, Steve Shannon has left his position as General Manager after only 1 year 6 months of tenure, however he will be continuing in a similiar capacity while taking on additional responsibilities.


According to Saab Automobile USA Communications recently, Steve Shannon will, in addition to managing of the Saab Automobile USA brand, will now also be responsible for managing the “premium brands” which consist of Cadillac as well as Hummer.

With the tenure of less than his predecessor solely in a Saab-only capacity, Jay Spenchian at 2 years, I wonder what this means now that he’ll be working with other brands in addition to Saab.

The other big question I have here is, why can’t there be someone leading Saab Automobile USA that spends 100% of their time on Saab? I’ve been running this resource full-time for the past year and a half now, so with all of the work I have and all the work that needs to be done, I would believe that there is much more work in the capacity of a general manager at Saab USA.

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Saab Automobile Chosen As Overall Best Brand Buy

Posted on 19. Sep, 2008 by .


Saab Automobile Chosen As Overall Best Brand Buy by a writer for Autotropolis.

I like the opening line, where writer Sheryll Alexander states that Saab is often overlooked, so the question here is why? Saab has been a leader in safety and fuel efficiency with over 30 miles to the gallon for the past 60 years!

“It’s too bad Saab is often an overlooked brand because this GM-owned Scandinavian automaker has it all: fun to drive, above average fuel economy, safety that rivals its nemesis Volvo and even sexy good looks.”

Here is another passage from her piece about her experience at the Saab 60th Anniversary event in San Diego, California last February that I also had the opportunity to attend, thanks to Saab Automobile USA.

Last year, I spent a few days with Saab executives at uber hip Tower 23 on San Diego’s Pacific Beach. There, I unknowingly met legendary Swedish racer Erik Carlsson in the elevator. “My knees hurt,” says this old, yet spry guy as we were lifted up to the ocean view third floor. Only later at the hip poolside cocktail party did I learn why Carlsson’s knees blew out: decades of driving his big frame in Saab rally cars with a string of wins including back-to-back victories at the Monte Carlo Rally in 1962 and 1963.

That history of performance via Saab’s jet and racing roots now features cross-wheel drive (XWD) technology. “True to its Scandinavian origins, Saab has built a large part of its reputation on excellent road manners under difficult driving conditions like rain, sleet and snow,” says Saab general manager Steve Shannon. “Our new cross-wheel-drive technology, which delivers unprecedented levels of driver involvement and dynamic chassis control, further illustrates Saab’s commitment to offering active safety in sporty, efficient and driver-focused vehicles.”

In the rest of her review, she mentions Cross-Wheel Drive as XWD, and then CWD, which clearly was a typo, there is nothing called CWD, just XWD.

For her entire review, please read her piece on Autotropolis directly.

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GM Next Film Coverage Of 2008 Saab Owners Convention

Posted on 02. Sep, 2008 by .


The folks at GM Next, received an okay at the last minute to thankfully cover some of the 2008 Saab Owners Convention back on August 21st-24th, 2008.
I guess my message, urging that some film coverage be done was heard loud and clear! I’m glad that GM Next was there to cover the event, provide some overviews and interview some of the attendees for those of that were unable to attend as well as for the record.
They have filmed three separate segments, beginning with this one as an overview of the 2008 Saab Owners Convention. A thank you goes to them for providing Saab History this footage!
Here is their quote directly from their site:

It’s like the 5-year family reunion, only less cheek pinching, more people and more turbo. And the people that show up are probably not blood relatives, but rather brand relatives—all united by the fact that they share the same fierce passion—an obsession with the brand Saab. It’s the reunion of all reunions: The 2008 Saab Owners Convention.

This year’s family affair took place August 21-24th in Devens, Massachusetts, where more than 500 Saab enthusiasts from all over North America convened. For some it was their first Saab retreat, but for others it was an annual pilgrimage . And this year was extra exciting because it was the 30th anniversary of Saab’s Turbocharging Leadership, which dates back to 1978 with the Saab 99 Turbo. Other climatic features of the weekend included an exhibition of Saab classics, keynote speaker Steve Shannon, general manager of Saab Automobile and the long-awaited arrival of the Swedish honorary guest—the Saab 9-X BioHybrid.

Source: GM Next

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