Tag Archives: Rick Wagoneer

Saab History Year In Review – 2009

Posted on 31. Dec, 2009 by .

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Updated:

Saab History marks it’s third full year since its launch in the fall of 2006. This year was quite unlike any that Saab has had over its lifetime including the past twenty years under GM ownership.

I have decided that unlike previous years writing a review about the happenings about Saab History specifically, it seemed more appropriate and timely to cover Saab’s own history over the course of the year.

Below is a month-by-month summary I have provided which will be updated based on the events over the course of the next three days.

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January

At the first of the year we understood that GM was was strategically reviewing the Saab brand and gave Saab 3-months to find a buyer. If no buyer was found and a deal secured, GM would keep Saab running until December 31st, 2009, then wind the company down.

Following this news, speculation grew rapidly on what company could be the new buyer for Saab Automobile ranging from Fiat, TATA, BMW to Porsche, all stating that they are not interested in buying the company.

As dialogue rapidly continued about the sale of Saab, we heard from Saab and representatives from the Swedish Government attending the 2009 North American International Auto Show about the status of Saab. Saab Automobile’s own, Jan-Ake Jonsson stated “that in order for his company to be successful, it needed to become separated from GM. It was here where we learned about the “official talks” beginning with GM’s interest in selling Saab. This included everything from the company’s business plan to potential loans needed from the European Investment Bank in order for to become independent of GM.

In parallel, the 2010 Saab 9-3x and 9-4x official spy photos were released combined with those of the all new Saab 9-5 sedan. On the others side of the spectrum, GM was forced to sell the Pikes Peak heritage collection car.

At the end of this month, we learned that there was a significant date coming up of February 17th, which was the date that GM submitted their viability plan to the US Government.

February

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At the first of the month, Saab Automobile began to update their global marketing strategy as they continued to work hard to develop their sustainable business plan.
[…]

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U.S. Government Asks GM CEO Wagoneer To Step Down

Posted on 30. Mar, 2009 by .

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rickw.jpgCNN, Reuters, Business Week, Detroit News Examiner, and the New York Times report that General Motors’s CEO, Rick Wagoneer was asked to step down immediately, by U.S. Government ahead of March 31st deadline.

Rick Wagoneer began his position with GM back in 1977, and was installed as CEO in 2000, the same year GM took over 100% of Saab Automobile, then bought Hummer and shelved the successful EV-1 electric vehicle program.

The top leadership at GM continues to crumble following Bob Lutz & Bill Powell’s departure as well.

Wagoneer, 56, who made only $14.7 Million dollars last year, will apparently be leaving his post almost immediately. His position as Captain of the Titanic, will be replaced by co-captain Fritz Henderson, the self-proclaimed Saab “Lover” (who made only $2 million last year) and the one who said that “Saab is not a U.S. Strategy”.

This news will all be going down today (Monday, March 30th), and with it, more press releases, more news and more of just about everything, so here’s hoping we also hear anything positive about Saab as well.

In just a few days following this announcement (March 31st), we should be expected to hear another announcement about GM’s strategy for continuity and restructuring.

Here is Rick Wagoneers message in a GM press release:

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FOR RELEASE: 2009-03-30

GM Message from Rick Wagoner

On Friday I was in Washington for a meeting with Administration officials. In the course of that meeting, they requested that I “step aside” as CEO of GM, and so I have.

Fritz Henderson is an excellent choice to be the next CEO of GM. Having worked closely with Fritz for many years, I know that he is the ideal person to lead the company through the completion of our restructuring efforts. His knowledge of the global industry and the company are exceptional, and he has the intellect, energy, and support among GM’ers worldwide to succeed. I wish him well, and I stand ready to support him, and interim Non-Executive Chairman Kent Kresa, in every way possible.

I also want to extend my sincerest thanks to everyone who supported GM and me during my time as CEO. I deeply appreciate the excellent counsel and commitment of the GM Board and the strong support of our many partners including our terrific dealers, suppliers, and community leaders. I am grateful as well to the union leaders with whom I have had the chance to work closely to implement numerous tough but necessary restructuring agreements.

Most important of all I want to express my deepest appreciation to the extraordinary team of GM employees around the world. You have been a tremendous source of inspiration and pride to me, and I will be forever grateful for the courage and commitment you have shown as we have confronted the unprecedented challenges of the past few years. GM is a great company with a storied history. Ignore the doubters because I know it is also a company with a great future.

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Saab History On The General Motors Press Conference

Posted on 18. Feb, 2009 by .

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The General Motors Press Conference Took Place On 6:30pm and ran for nearly an hour until 7:30pm, on February 17th, 2009.

I managed to capture the dialog from what was said with specific attention to Saab Automobile by what the GM Execs have said in addition to what they have said in response to the questions that the journalists both in person and on the phone have asked:

It’s clear General Motors wants “nothing” to do with Saab Automobile AB at all, and could offer GM technology if Saab Automobile were able to “buy” it from them.

The writing on the wall for Saab Automobile AB in terms of General Motors future with them was indicated by none other than Rick Wagoner’s response to Mark Phelan of the Detroit Free Press when asked if there could be a third option with Saab if they aren’t sold or owned by the Swedish Government:

Rick Wagoneer, CEO of GM: “I do not see any continued ownership of Saab”

So, Saab Automobile in the words of GM, have NO future with General Motors at all, so it’s either Saab becomes an independent company and/or sold to a new company because the Swedish Government has expressed that they are also not interested in “owning” Saab Automobile.

What really got under my skin is Rick Wagoneer’s second answer to I believe it was a journalist from Auto Magazine who called in asking if Saab could “buy” GM technology if they got spun off or sold.

Rick Wagoneer, CEO of GM”:: “Yes, Saab could buy the GM technology if that happened, yes”

This really sickens me because this was originally Saab’s innovations and technology, and now Saab Automobile may have to buy their own technology back again?? Not nice at all.

Here is my recap below verbatim:

6:33pm – Thanked Sweden for helping with the plan

6:35pm – GM has conducted a strategic review of the global Saab business and has offered it for sale. Given the urgency of stemming sizeable cash demands associated with Saab operations, GM is requesting Swedish government support prior to any sale. The company has developed a specific proposal that would have the effect of capping GM’s financial support, with Saab’s operations effectively becoming an independent business entity Jan. 1, 2010. While GM hopes to reach agreement with the Swedish government, the Saab Automobile AB subsidiary could file for reorganization as early as this month.

6:36pm GM’s Rick Wagoner indicates that the PR version of the “GM 2009 – 2014 Restructuring Plan” which you can download directly at this link here.

7:00pm – Swedish Journalist in person asks question: How have you been treated in your relations with the Swedish Government regarding the Saab situation?

Fritz Henderson: “We haven’t found a solution yet, has the highest regard”. Fritz Henderson has no difficulties with how they have been treated by the Swedish Government.

7:06pm – Auto Magazine calls in: Could Saab buy GM technology if they were to be spun off?

Rick Wagoneer: Yes, Saab could buy the GM technology if that happened, yes.

7:12pm – Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press: Talks that if Saab not sold, there will be a 3rd option if the Swedish Government does not take it?

Rick Wagoneer: “I do not see any continued ownership of Saab”

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Saab History On GM’s Media Briefing RE: “Strategic Review”

Posted on 03. Dec, 2008 by .

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I have just called into General Motor’s Media Briefing tonight at 5:30-6:30pm and here’s what I heard with regards to Saab’s future.

Saab was mentioned once by Rick Wagoneer, and again by Fritz Henderson (Self-Proclaimed Saab Enthusiast) in the same context. Effectively, they both indicate that Saab is not part of GM’s long-term goals, as they will be focusing on Chevy, Cadillac, GMC & Buick, as Saab is now immediately “undergoing strategic global review”.

Near the end of the question and answer period, it wasn’t until Automotive News Europe took the 2nd to last question when Saab was mentioned: The question by them included: What are your plans for the “review” of Saab? The answer by Rick Wagoneer of GM was: The review includes anything including a sale of the Saab brand.

That was all that was said in terms of the Saab brand, but I am hoping that the Swedish Government can come in ASAP and rescue them for either a short or long-term plan.

Investors, Owners, Employees, and Customers need some assurances and quick for Saab to be a viable company.

GM Schedules Media Briefing on Plan Submitted to Congress

A conference call will be held on Tuesday, December 2 at 5:30 p.m. ET to provide an overview to media of the plan for long-term viability that General Motors submitted to the U.S. Congress. The call will conclude 60 minutes later at approximately 6:30 p.m. ET.

A copy of the plan and a press release will be posted on the GM media and investor sites at approximately 5 pm, as soon as it has been received by Congress.

Rick Wagoner, GM chairman and CEO, and Fritz Henderson, GM president and COO, will host the call. Participants can listen to the presentation live via conference call. To access the conference call, please dial 1-800-830-2812 (or +1-416-641-6283 for international access) 10 minutes prior to the start time and ask to be connected to the General Motors conference call. Following the presentation, there will be a question and answer session for the media only.

A taped replay of this call will be made available from 7:30 p.m. ET, December 2, 2008, until
7:30 p.m. ET, December 4, 2008. Please dial 1-800-633-8284 (or +1-402-977-9140 for international access) and enter reservation number 21404208 to access the taped replay.

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Saab 9-4X Prototype Sighted Yet Again

Posted on 09. Sep, 2008 by .

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Photo Credit: carpix autos

The Saab 9-4x Prototype has been sighted yet again, following the two sightings at the Nurburgring in Germany.

I think it’s obvious that the Saab 9-4x prototype in this instance, is not complete, when we take into consideration the obviously incomplete head and tail light setups that look nothing like the production photograph General Motors CEO, Rick Wagoneer has recently shown us back on July 16th, 2008.

I still hope as indicated, that’s a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine they are testing in this prototype as I fully expect to see a turbocharged Saab engine in the production version due next year.

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Production Concept