Tag Archives: managing director

Jan Åke Jonsson To Be Awarded By Swedish Commerce

Posted on 11. Mar, 2010 by .

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Jan Åke Jonsson, Saab Automobile’s managing director has been praised by the western Swedish Commerce and Industry for his hard work to save Saab. Jonsson will be awarded on May 3rd at the Swedish Exhibition in Göteborg according to TTELA.

“During the past year, discussions about Saab Automobile’s future was hot and public. Throughout the process, Jan Åke Jonsson stood up for the company in a vigorous, sustained and professional manner. Jan Åke’s hard work and ability to handle the many different stakeholders — existing owners, potential buyers and representatives from the media – has reinforced the image of him as a highly respected leader inside the factory gates in Stallbacka and as a role model for others in the western Swedish business community. ”

Jan Åke Jonsson will be awarded the award for Industry and Trade Chamber date of 3 May at the Swedish Exhibition Center in Göteborg. In connection with the dividend Jonsson, Spyker Cars CEO Victor Muller will speak about a theme of change for the company, the future and leadership.

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A letter to all Saab Owners from Jan Åke Jonsson

Posted on 27. Feb, 2010 by .

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Here’s a letter from Jan Åke Jonsson, Saab Automobile AB’s Managing Director.

jaj

Dear Saab owner,

It is a great pleasure to announce that Spyker Cars N.V. now has acquired Saab Automobile AB from General Motors, thus securing our future.

I would like to thank you and all Saab customers, who have stood by us throughout this journey. Many of you have rallied, convoyed, blogged and otherwise helped carry the torch to save Saab. Your commitment underlines the remarkable strength of the Saab brand and bodes well for the future.

This new ownership has the full potential of bringing Saab successfully into the future, and ensuring that you as a customer will be able to experience true Saab cars that differ from the ordinary and offers a safe and a sporty fuel efficient driving experience paired with Scandinavian design and smart solution.

It also means that we, together with our dealer network, can continue to offer the best possible treatment and service, for you as well as for your Saab. We welcome you to come visit us – already today you can experience the latest addition to the Saab range — the new Saab 9-3X. Later this spring we will launch the all new Saab 9-5 Sedan and within the next 16 months we have more exciting news to introduce in the market – the new Saab 9-5 SportCombi and the new Saab crossover 9-4X.

A new Saab era begins today. You can continue to follow our progress here on Saab Newsroom and you´re always welcome to experience it from the best place of all: behind the wheel of a Saab at your local dealer.

Yours sincerely,

Jan Åke Jonsson
CEO Saab Automobile AB

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How Long Do you Think Saab Automobile’s Road To Independence From GM Has Been In The Making?

Posted on 23. Dec, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab History / Trollhättan, Sweden 2007

I’ve been thinking long and hard about this but I wanted to get your opinion here in a poll. How long do you think Saab Automobile’s road to independence from GM has been in the making? This year marks the 20-years since Saab has been under partial and full control by GM and by the end of this month, they hope to become independent from them with a sale completed.

I personally think this road officially began five years ago in 2005, when Jan-Åke Jonsson was installed as managing director for Saab Automobile.

It was there when he began saying that “Saab is on the move”. As time progressed a few years later, Saab started indicating subtle messages their advertising campaign with songs such as “release me” and so forth.

As subtleties transitioned into official statements, it was on February 20th when Saab Automobile had a press conference and press release outlining their “road to independence” from GM. That’s when the news finally broke, but I just feel like it was a long time in the making.

What is your opinion? Please cast your vote, but also write your opinion as to when and why you thought this road started when it did.

How Long Do you Think Saab's Road To Independence From GM Has Been In The Making?

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Jan-Åke Jonsson Appreciation Society Formed

Posted on 23. Dec, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

An appreciation society has been formed for Jan-Åke Jonsson, Saab Automobile AB’s managing director who has been leading the company since April of 2005.

facebookI met him a few months later in June of 2005 at the Saab Festival at an outdoor bar-b-que and was introduced to him by Jay Spechian, the then President of Saab Cars USA. It was a time I will never forget.

Here is a quote from the facebook fan page that has been formed “His hard work, dedication, tenacity and optimism has been an inspiration to us all during this challenging year.”

There are many that have joined his page, so I encourage you to sign up there by clicking here!

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Saab Automobile, Spyker & Swedish Government Surprised As To Why Talks Broke Down, GM Remains Silent

Posted on 18. Dec, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Scanpix / Adam Ihse (From Left: Saab’s CEO Jan-Åke Jonsson, Enterprise and Energy Maud Olofsson (C) and Secretary of State Joran Hagglund (C)

Sweden’s E24 covers the Press Conference that took place out in front of the Saab Automobile factory today in Trollhättan, Sweden.

From the sounds of it, there appears to be some surprise by Saab Automobile, Spyker and the Swedish Government. I guess they are all surprised because GM just dumped this on them today without any prior notice, even though they actually had until December 31st.

No one is letting the reason out about why the talks broke down today at all. We need to know and the news media will get to the bottom of it.

Here’s the piece.

2009-12-18 | Posted 15:38 | Updated 17:25

“We are very disappointed by this decision. There are many of us that wear and tear in recent months. And we thought we were well under way,” says Saab Automobile Managing Director Jan-Ake Jonsson.

Saab Automobile Managing Director Jan-Ake Jonsson is both disappointed and surprised that GM so early here that has taken the decision to close Saab.

We are surprised that GM has the final decision to liquidate and close down. I think we had come a long way with Spyker Group. The Agreement with BAIC, we also strengthened our cash and would theoretically be able to operate properly for a while, “says managing director Jan-Ake Jonsson during the afternoon press conference.

– Now we await news from GM on how it sees this settlement. It is too early to say exactly what will happen. But there is no bankruptcy or liquidation, but a settlement that will take place in an orderly manner.

– We have a stock of cars and it is important that we get the revenue to pay our debts, “he says, too.

At the same time “says John Smith, chief negotiator for GM, the goal is to close down as soon as possible.

In place in Trollhättan is also Enterprise and Energy Maud Olofsson and press secretary Joran Hagglund. Earlier in the day, the government pursued talks with Saab’s leadership, the union and the municipality.

As late as this morning was sitting government, GM and Spyker in the negotiations in Stockholm. There was also this morning as Maud Olofsson was told that GM intends to close Saab.

– But we were already indications of the night, “she said during the press conference.

Both Jan-Ake Jonsson and Olofsson says that it is possible that certain activities within the Saab could possibly survive in Trollhättan.

– We have many assets, not least the staff expertise, “said Jan-Ake Jonsson.

Maud Olofsson also fits that target specific criticism of Saab owners of GM.

– It seems that the GM’s side could have done more for Saab over all these years. And you should not forget the GM’s responsibility in this. They must show responsibility for their employees. How it is done may be a discussion about the negotiations with union representatives, “she says.

While she can not see how the government could have acted differently.

– We have worked to strengthen the research side. We have invested in infrastructure and helped with training. Our role is to create a climate that allows automakers that want to be here. We have also assured us that the Employment Service have enough resources and given additional resources to higher education, to vocational training and to the municipality.

Saab’s closure will not only affect Saab’s approximately 3 500 employees. According to a study Growth Board has previously done, as many as 8 000 jobs in Västra Götaland disappear when Saab closure.

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Electroengine, The Company Behind True Electric Saabs

Posted on 15. Dec, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Electro Engine

Here is some background on Electroengine, The Company Behind True Electric Saabs that launched their first test vehicles in June this year in Sweden.

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The Swedish company Electroengine in Sweden AB has developed a new system that makes it possible to adapt standard cars with internal combustion engines to high performance electric cars. A demonstration vehicle was on public display at the annual Almedal week in Gotland, Sweden, and the official launch took place on 29th June at 9.00 am in Visby harbour.

The system, which is entitled True Electric™, can be used directly in the production of new cars. It can also be used to convert existing cars to be purely electrically operated cars. This can be done without compromising the safety and performance of the cars. Furthermore, the system has the potential to be considerably more cost-effective than the electric drive systems that are currently on the market. One of its key components is a revolutionary battery management system for which a patent is pending.

Electroengine’s Managing Director, Thomas Bergfjord, comments: “Many people still want to keep driving nice-looking, practical and safe cars with good performance and handling while they are also keen to choose a more environmentally friendly and cost-efficient alternative. True Electric™ now makes it possible to combine the environmentally friendliness and low running costs of electric cars with the functions and performance of existing petrol-driven cars. We can, for example, use our technology to achieve 0-100 km/h acceleration of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 180 km/h in a SAAB 9-3, as well as being able to drive it 150-200 km purely on electricity without having to change the car’s interior or exterior – thus retaining the luggage space and tow bar.”
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Saab Sell 9-3 Tech, 9-5 Model & Powertrain To BAIC

Posted on 14. Dec, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

This just in from Saab Automobile as posted on their Newsroom website

According to Saab’s Press Officer, Gunilla Gustavs “This deal for “certain” technology for the current 9-3 model line, and not for the 9-3 model itself, the current 9-5 model as well as some powertrain technology were sold to BAIC”

This is good to know, because it initially appeared that it was the 9-3 model which is incorrect, the only model being sold is the current 9-5.

it is important to know that the deal itself has no bearing on Saab’s sale process nor does it have anything do with the Saab brand. The vehicles and technology will end up with BAIC and will not have any reference or connection to Saab once acquired.

The price for the transaction was not mentioned nor was it not provided when requested as it was confidential.

Saab Automobile and Beijing Automotive reach milestone in technology cooperation

December 14 2009, Trollhättan.

Saab Automobile AB announced today that it had closed on the sale to Beijing Automotive Industry Holdings Co. Ltd (BAIC) of certain Saab 9-3, current 9-5 and powertrain technology and tooling. Saab will assist BAIC to integrate this technology into future BAIC vehicles.

Jan Åke Jonsson, Managing Director of Saab Automobile said: “This arrangement is excellent for both parties, now and for the future. We have developed a good relationship with BAIC and look forward to working with them to integrate this Saab technology into their future vehicles.”

• Saab closed on a sale of certain Saab 9-3, current 9-5 and Powertrain technology to BAIC

• Current 9-5 tooling will move to China where it will be used to make BAIC vehicles

• Saab will assist BAIC in integrating this technology into BAIC vehicles

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Jan Åke Jonsson Sends Letter To Saab USA Dealers

Posted on 11. Dec, 2009 by .

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Jan Åke Jonsson Sends Letter To Saab USA Dealers

Dec 11th 2009

Dear Saab Automobile USA Dealer,

It is probably an understatement if I say that the last few weeks have been challenging. The exit from the sale process by the Koenigsegg Group was a big surprise to all of us. In particular, given the good progress that was made during months of intense negotiations. That is now history and we need to, with great speed; attempt to secure our future through another buyer.

The decision by the GM Board was the best that we could have hoped for. As a consequence, we are now in intense negotiations with potential candidates with an ability and willingness to become our new owner. All parties, including the Swedish government, are now very focused on running not only in the same direction but, more importantly, with even greater speed. Before the end of the year, we have to identify a new owner for Saab, but also be very close to finalizing the deal. The good news is that a lot of work needed to close a sale has already been done through the previous negotiations.

I understand it is not completely ‘business as usual’ but I wanted you to know that limited production is running and the development of the new 9-5 continues. About two weeks ago, the first 2010 9-5 came off the line in Trollhättan with a very high quality level.

We know that we will have a decision very soon and I appreciate your continued loyalty and commitment as that is what provides the basis for the start of a new Saab.

Thank you.

Saab Automobile AB
jaj

Jan Åke Jonsson
Managing Director

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