Tag Archives: Jan Åke Jonsson

Saab Automobile’s New Design Director, Jason Castriota Interviewed By New York Times

Posted on 23. Jun, 2010 by .


Photo Credit: New York Times

Saab’s new Design Director, Jason Castriota has been recently interviewed by the New York Times.

Here’s a small part of that interview below:

Jason Castriota, formerly designer for Ferrari, Pininfarina and Stile Bertone, has been tapped by Saab to lead design, through Mr. Castriota’s design firm. […]

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New Design Director at Saab Automobile

Posted on 18. Jun, 2010 by .


Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

New Design Director at Saab Automobile

* Former Pininfarina and Bertone designer joins Saab leadership team
* Will lead design for Saab’s product expansion program

Trollhättan, Sweden: Saab Automobile today announced the appointment of former Bertone and Pininfarina designer Jason Castriota as its new Design Director.

Castriota, 36, now takes the lead role in design at Saab, reporting directly to Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. He and his design company will be responsible for exterior and interior design and will lead the design activities at Saab as the brand renews and broadens its product range.

Announcing the appointment, Jan Åke Jonsson said: “We’re delighted to welcome Jason to our leadership team. He has an outstanding track record in automotive design and will help us take the brand forward. He will play a key role in expressing all that’s best in the innovative tradition of Saab design as we carry our brand’s roots into the future.”

“I’m greatly looking forward to joining such an iconic brand,” said Castriota. “Saab has a very strong and distinctive heritage which gives it great potential to develop. This is an exciting opportunity for me to help shape its future products.”

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Saab Automobile Appoints New Nordic Region Director

Posted on 15. Jun, 2010 by .


Saab Automobile Appoints New Nordic Region Director

• Key appointment to lead restructured Nordic organization
• Provides central support for independent branch offices

Trollhättan, Sweden. Saab Automobile today announced the appointment of Magnus Hansson as Regional Director Nordic, responsible for sales, marketing, aftersales and business development in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland.

Hansson takes up this newly-created position from 1 August. He assumes direct responsibility for the Swedish market, while Country Directors at Saab’s branch offices in Denmark, Norway and Finland will also report directly to him.

This new role is part of a series of key management appointments being made at Saab Automobile as the company establishes a new organization to take it forward as an independent business.

Announcing Hansson’s appointment today, Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson said: “Our home market in Sweden is a crucial component in the success of the company and we are delighted to have Magnus onboard. His new role will enable us to create and benefit from synergies with the other Nordic markets. Their offices have been set up as lean, independent operations and Magnus’s team will also provide dedicated marketing and business support.”

Hansson, 35, who will report to Adrian Hallmark, Executive Director, Sales, is currently Global Product Manager at Saab and brings a broad range of international experience to his new role during 10 years with the company. He is a former Country Manager in Canada, where Saab achieved record sales during his tenure.

Hansson will be succeeded as Global Product Manager by Christopher McKinnon, currently a group leader within the department. Johan Palmér will continue as Acting Director of Sweden with full operational responsibility until 1 August.
Saab Automobile Press Office
Tel: +46 (0)520 279797

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Saab Making Steady Return To Health: Jan Åke Jonsson

Posted on 13. May, 2010 by .


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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Saab Executives Successfully Finish Mille Miglia Race

Posted on 09. May, 2010 by .



Saab executives, Jan Åke Jonsson and Victor Muller and their co-drivers, the sons Christian respectively Olivier have successfully finished the Mille Miglia race this past week.

Reflections from Mille Miglia by Jan Åke Jonsson
On Sunday night, both Victor and I — along with our sons — crossed the finish line in our 1957 vintage Saab 93s. This marked the end of an amazing experience that none of us will ever forget.
The race took us from Brescia to Bologna, then Bologna to Rome and finally from Rome to Brescia on open roads with ordinary motorists.

Following Victor from Brescia, at unbelievable speeds, I knew I had to forget everything I had learned in driving school about existing traffic rules and common sense. Now the aim was to travel along the route as fast as possible – a mindset that was clearly shared by all participants. Thankfully, Victor was an excellent teacher and I picked things up very quickly.

The trip went very well apart from a broken generator, a few fuel leaks, worn brakes and a buckled rear bumper. I have to admit that the buckled bumper was my fault as I was driving “a bit” fast and a building was standing in the way as my car skidded sideways.

Travelling through these parts of Italy was a fantastic experience full of beautiful, quaint villages and small towns with an abundance of good food and drink on offer. Unfortunately exploring our surroundings wasn´t the purpose of this trip — our focus was on the driving — but we´ll make sure we go back and enjoy the area at a later date.

Our participation in this event also had a promotional aspect to it. When Saab has the chance to compete alongside Ferrari, Aston Martin, Maserati, Jaguar and Mercedes, it´s an ideal opportunity to expose the brand to people interested in buying premium European cars. Given the amount of recognition and positive feedback we received during the trip, we know our participation was a great success in this respect.

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Saab Automobile Provides 1st Update On Mille Miglia Race

Posted on 07. May, 2010 by .



Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

Saab Automobile has just posted their first update on the Mille Miglia race since announcing it back on April 25th.

At 20h30 Thursday night this year’s Mille Miglia started in Brecia, Italy. About one hour later both Jan Åke Jonsson and Victor Muller and their co-drivers, the sons Christian respectively Olivier, were on their way on the 350 kilometer long lap to Bologna.

Apart from a problem with the generator on Victor Muller’s car, that was fixed during the night, both the Saab 93’s are running well in this classic rally. Today they are driving from Bologna to Rome and tomorrow the route is Rome-Brecia.

The fact that both the CEO and the Chairman of the Board are attending this rally,gets some attention and they have already been interviewed by i.e Auto Motor & Sport.

Mille Miglia is a big crowd-puller. Famous cars and famous people add the rally zest to the competition and along the roads a lot of people are gathering in big crowds to enjoy classic cars, the atmosphere, the excitement as well as the food and drinks they bring with them.

It is a popular festival that has spectators from all over the world. No one wants to miss Mille Miglia. The big interest for this event is obvious when looking at the numbers of cars applying for taking part in the rally: 1400! Only 375 cars and drivers were selected and among them the two Saab 93’s driven by Muller and Jonsson.

Follow the race at http://www.millemiglia.it/

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Saab CEO Receives Swedish Business Award for Outstanding Achievements

Posted on 04. May, 2010 by .


Saab CEO Receives Swedish Business Award for Outstanding Achievements

Recognition for Saab CEO Jan Åke Jonsson from Swedish business leaders

Praise for securing Saab’s future and helping maintain the auto industry cluster in west Sweden
Saab and Spyker CEOs address business leaders and media on future of Saab

Trollhättan, Sweden: The professionalism of Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson was recognized today when he received the prestigious annual award for Outstanding Achievements from the West Swedish Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

During a deep global recession in the auto industry, Jonsson led Saab Automobile through a restructuring process and protracted sale negotiations that continued for over a year. The future of the company was eventually secured when Saab Automobile was acquired from General Motors by Spyker Cars N.V. of the Netherlands in February this year.

The award recognizes Jonsson’s role in preserving Saab as part of a strong automotive industry cluster in west Sweden. The citation praises him for “standing up for the company in a strenuous, persistent and professional way. His capacity to handle all stakeholders has strengthened his image as a highly respected leader inside Saab. He is a model for others within the West Swedish economy.”

Jonsson received the award from Finn Johnsson, Chairman of the West Swedish Chamber of Commerce and Industry at its annual congress in Gothenburg. Victor Muller, Chairman of Saab Automobile and CEO of Spyker Cars N.V., who successfully concluded negotiations with General Motors, was also in attendance.

Jonsson and Muller together addressed the congress, explaining how they fought to save Saab Automobile and the Saab brand, and how they will take the company forward as a profitable, sustainable and independent car maker.

“I am very proud to accept this award,” said Jan Åke Jonsson. “However, it would not have been possible without the commitment and tremendous dedication shown by all Saab employees during such a challenging time in the company’s history.

“We are now all focused together on securing a successful future. With the launch of the all new Saab 9-5 this summer, and work on a number of other exciting new cars going on behind the scenes, our plans are firmly on track.”

Note to Editors:

Saab Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget (Swedish Aircraft Company) – was founded in 1937 as an aircraft manufacturer and revealed its first prototype passenger car 10 years later after the formation of the Saab Car Division. In 1990, Saab Automobile AB was created as a separate company, jointly owned by the Saab Scania Group and General Motors, and became a wholly-owned GM subsidiary in 2000. In February 2010, Spyker Cars N.V. of the Netherlands, acquired the company from GM as an independently-run business.

Saab cars reflect the brand’s unique Scandinavian design ethic, which is fused with its aircraft engineering heritage. The company is a global premium car maker with a distinguished history of innovation. It is recognized for its pioneering role in turbocharging, as well as occupant safety and the introduction of flex-fuel technology through Saab BioPower. Saab Automobile AB currently employs approximately 3,400 staff in Sweden, where it operates world-class production and technical development facilities at its headquarters in Trollhättan, 70 km north of Gothenburg.


Saab Automobile Press Office
Tel: +46 (0)520 279797

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Historic Recreation: Saab and Spyker CEOs to Drive Classic Saabs on Mille Miglia

Posted on 25. Apr, 2010 by .



Photo Credit: © Saab Automobile AB

Historic Recreation: Saab and Spyker CEOs to Drive Classic Saabs on Mille Miglia

Saab and Spyker CEOs to run Saab 93s in 2010 Mille Miglia Celebration of class win in 1957

Trollhättan, Sweden. Italian hillsides are about to reverberate again to the distinctive crackle of a Saab two-stroke engine. Providing the soundtrack will be Saab Automobile CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and Saab Automobile Chairman and Spyker Cars CEO Victor Muller, who will each drive a 1957-vintage Saab 93 at this year’s historic Mille Miglia road race.

The two executives are celebrating the 93’s class win on this unique event 53 years ago with cars prepared by the Saab Car Museum in Sweden. Jonsson and Muller will be following, at a more leisurely pace, in the wheel tracks of the 1957 class winner crewed by Charlie Lohmander and co-driver Harald Kronegård. Today’s annual classic recreation of the 1,000-mile (1,600 km) Brescia-Rome-Brescia route is held over three days on open roads and decided on punctuality between check-points. Jonsson and Muller will be co-driven by their sons, Christian, 38, and Olivier,18, respectively.

Powered by a 45 hp, 748 cc, three-cylinder engine, but weighing only 810 kilos, the Saab 93’s agile handling and good aerodynamics enabled it to embarrass far more powerful, larger cars. “Saab’s early success on this event is part of our rich heritage,” said Jan Åke Jonsson. “We’re looking forward to competing once again with the Saab 93, although we won’t be driving it quite so fast.”

This year’s event, from 6 – 8 May, is Victor Muller’s tenth Mille Miglia. “The 93 is unlike any other car I’ve entered, which is hardly surprising as it’s a Saab,” he said. “Jan Åke and I will enjoy the event and we’re looking forward to a little friendly rivalry between team-mates. It certainly won’t be as intense as the competition between Eklund and Blomqvist when they were rallying with Saabs in the late 70s.”

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