Tag Archives: Rick Wagoner

What Would Bob Sinclair Have Said About All Of This?

Posted on 21. Dec, 2009 by .

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What would Bob Sinclair have said about all of this situation with Saab & GM over the last 20 years? This is what automotive news has recently written as a focus on the ongoing situation with Saab with reference to Bob Sinclair, Saab’s former chief in the United States for many years.

Here’s the article referenced below:

If this truly is the end of Saab, maybe it’s just as well Bob Sinclair isn’t around to see it.

Sinclair, who died in May at age 77, made Saab a success in the United States. As head of U.S. operations in the 1980s, he pushed his reluctant Swedish bosses to add content and luxury to their cars.

We forget just how well Saab was doing in this country a couple of decades ago, nearly hitting sales of 50,000 units before the October 1987 stock market crash. Saab was quirky, but also cool.

Think how hard it is these days to take a brand upmarket. You have to marvel at Sinclair, who retired in 1991. In fact, Saab may be the last brand to make a successful transition from downmarket to upmarket — here or anywhere.

In December 1989, General Motors was cash-flush and distressed that it had lost out to Ford in bidding for Jaguar. So GM acquired half of Saab. Several years later, it bought the rest.
[…]

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GM Announces The Resignation Of GM President & CEO Fritz Henderson, Replaced By Edward E. Whitacre Jr.

Posted on 01. Dec, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab History

At the recent GM Press Conference, Edward E. Whitacre Jr. announced that he would replace President & CEO Fritz Henderson who has just resigned. There is no indication that Fritz Henderson or Edward Whitacre will continue to be part of the 13-member GM board at this time.

The Saab community in the United States will remember hearing from Fritz Henderson back at the 2007 Saab Owners Convention where he spoke to us at the GM Heritage Center for dinner that he was a Saab guy and even his Wife was a Saab enthusiast.

There was no other new Saab news at all other than the resignation announcement other than the confirmation of what we already saw in the press statement earlier.

* Confirms outreach from several interested parties for Saab, but would not indicate which ones or how many

* Confirmed, if no viable buyer comes, closure of Saab would pursued at end of December

Here is a good piece from the Washington Post followed by GM’s statement on the resignation of Fritz Henderson.

GM’s Henderson Steps Down as CEO

General Motors chief executive Fritz Henderson, who took over the troubled automaker during its government-backed bankruptcy after former chief executive Rick Wagoner resigned at the urging of the White House, has stepped down, the company announced this afternoon.

Henderson will be replaced on a temporary basis by GM chairman Ed Whitacre, who became chairman in June, famously saying, “I don’t know anything about cars.” Whitacre is the former chief executive of AT&T.

Interestingly, it was Whiteacre, not Henderson, who appeared in the most recent GM television commercials.

— Frank Ahrens

————
GM Statement Attributed to To Chairman Ed Whitacre

At its monthly meeting in Detroit today, the General Motors Board of Directors accepted the resignation of Fritz Henderson as Director, President and CEO of the company.

Fritz has done a remarkable job in leading the company through an unprecedented period of challenge and change. While momentum has been building over the past several months, all involved agree that changes needed to be made. To this end, I have taken over the role of Chairman and CEO while an international search for a new president and CEO begins immediately. With these new duties, I will begin working in the Renaissance Center headquarters on a daily basis. The leadership team – many who are with me today – are united and committed to the task at hand.

I want to assure all of our employees, dealers, suppliers, union partners and most of all, our customers, that GM’s daily business operations will continue as normal. I remain more convinced than ever that our company is on the right path and that we will continue to be a leader in offering the worldwide buying public the highest quality, highest value cars and trucks. We now need to accelerate our progress toward that goal, which will also mean a return to profitability and repaying the American and Canadian tax payers as soon as possible.

In closing, I want to once again thank Fritz Henderson for his years of leadership and service to General Motors; we’re grateful for his many contributions. I look forward to working with the entire GM team as we now begin the next chapter of this great company.

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The Thirteen Members Of the GM Board

Posted on 01. Dec, 2009 by .

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Sweden’s Goteborg Posten have gone ahead and provided us information about GM’s 13-member board that are deciding the fate of Saab Automobile at this time.

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Daniel F Akerson, 60 years. Head of Carlyle. Director of American Express.

David Letterman Bond, 67 years. Chairman Ryanair. Like the Rolling Stones so much that they could play when he turned 60 seven years ago. Bill for the party stopped at around 50 million, 100 000 per invited guest.

Erroll B Davis Jr, 66 years. Universities in Georgia, a board member of BP.

Stephen J. Girsky, 47 years. Bilanalytiker. Has worked as an advisor to both former GM chief Rick Wagoner and cars together unions Ron Gettelfinger.

Fritz Henderson, 51 years. Became CEO of GM when Wagoner was fired.

E Neville Isdell, 65 years. Former CEO and Chairman of Coca-Cola.

Robert D. Krebs, 67 years. Former CEO and Chairman of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation.

Kent Kres, 71 years. Former President of Northrop Grumman. Even the President of the label manufacturer Avery Dennison.

Philip A Laskawy, 68 years. Former (1994-2001) Chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young.

Kathryn V Marinello, 53 years. Chairman and CEO of Ceridian, a company that outsource HR services. Studied at Lund University.

Patricia F Russo, 56 years. Former head of Alcatel-Lucent.

Carol M Stephenson, 58 years. Administration Manager for the Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario. Canadian government representative on the GM board.

Edward E Whitacre Jr, 67 years. Chairman of GM. Former President of Scouts in the United States.

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The History On BAIC’s CEO, Wang Dazong

Posted on 21. Sep, 2009 by .

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wang.jpgBAIC, the company that will be continuing the production of the old Saab 9-5 after signing an MOU with Koenigsegg Group is led by CEO, Wang Dazong.

Wang Dazong, born in China, educated in the U.S., is no stranger to the automotive industry taking the CEO position with BAIC in February of 2008 after working as the Vice President with Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corporation (SAIC) since March of 2006.

Prior to working with both SAIC and BAIC, Dazong was a former chief engineer and design manager at GM, not surprisingly. During his 20-year career at GM which began in 1985, he started out as an engineer and then rose to a chief engineer then manager making design and product development decisions and worked closely with Rick Wagoner, former CEO of GM according to Forbes.

With BAIC now working to not only take on the continued production of the old 9-5 sedan and sportcombi models in China, Dazong indicates that he also wants Saab technology and safety engineering as part of their nearly 33% stake in the newly independent Saab Automobile company much like GM did over their 20-year ownership of Saab according to TTELA.

Here’s hoping history does not repeat itself, for Saab’s sake.

His CV details are below.

EDUCATION
1973: Student exchange programme in US
1980: Masters degree, School of Central China Science and Engineering
University
1984: Doctoral degree, Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace
Engineering, Cornell University, New York

CAREER
1985: Joins General Motors
2006: General manager and chief engineer, Greater China Operations of
Delphi Energy & Engine Management Systems; vice-president, SAIC Motor
Corporation
2008, joined BAIC.

Source: Management Today

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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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Auditors To GM: More Taxpayer Money Or Bankruptcy

Posted on 05. Mar, 2009 by .

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gmloog.jpgAccording to auditors, they have told GM, it’s either more taxpayer money or bankruptcy.

We know more money won’t solve GM’s problems, so it’s clear that bankruptcy is the only way to go. Once again, GM does not think that they could afford $100 Billion dollars for bankruptcy, but their arguement just does not stand.

It’s March 31st, 2008 when GM will be facing the U.S. Congress again when they try and convince the U.S. Government that more taxpayer money is needed. I we recall, the U.S. Treasury said that if GM does not show that they are going to be profitable, and by all accounts, they won’t be, then they will have to pay back the money they were loaned, which would certainly force GM into bankruptcy then.

The following news organizations have said the following about this recent auditors report on GM.

The Detroit News

DETROIT — General Motors Corp. says there is “substantial doubt” about the company’s viability and that bankruptcy is possible unless it can implement a broad restructuring plan, according to a regulatory filing today.

CNN Money

The embattled automaker made the disclosure in a 480-page filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

The government must determine that GM has a “positive net present value” or else demand repayment of the loans within 30 days – a development that would almost certainly plunge the company into bankruptcy and quite possibly force it out of business.

“If we fail to obtain sufficient funding for any reason, we would not be able to continue as a going concern and could potentially be forced to seek relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code,” GM added.

Bloomberg News

GM CEO, Rick Wagoner made $14.7 Million in 2007, and $5.2 Million in 2008!

BBC

GM reiterated on Thursday that a bankruptcy filing could lead to liquidation, as the company would not have enough funds to finance its reorganisation.

Reuters

GM faces an end of March deadline to complete concession talks with the United Auto Workers and bondholders to reduce its debt load as part of a bid to convince the autos task force assembled by U.S. President Barack Obama that it can be made viable with a new round of government help.

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Maud Olofsson Reiterates Swedish Government Will Not Own Saab

Posted on 18. Feb, 2009 by .

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Photo: Anders Wiklund / Scanpix

According to TTELA, Maud Olofsson says again, that since GM is not interested in any continued ownership of GM as stated last night at the Press Conference by Rick Wagoner, the Swedish Government is also not interested in owning Saab. We already knew that though back in December. So, the question really remains, how long will the Swedish Government be able to sustain Saab Automobile AB until it finds a new company.

I think that the reason that the Swedish Government is firm in their delivery and response to the GM press conference, is that they are frankly angry and disappointed at General Motors. They aren’t happy that GM has basically just thrown Saab on their lap giving up on the brand, saying..now you deal with them. I can understand the Swedish Government’s position at this time, and hope that the heat will lessen and they will be able to think more strategically in continuing Saab and providing it the financial support that it needs with both of the loans.

As I said before and I will say again, Swedish Government, please give Saab Automobile AB the financial support at this time. Yes it is tax payer money, but remember Saab has lost money due to GM’s inability to invest in them, their association with GM.

Maud Olofsson, close the door for state ownership of Saab. She did well during a press conference in Stockholm this morning.

STOCKHOLM – We close the door to take ownership of Saab. It announced Industry Minister Maud Olofsson just at the press conference in Stockholm.

The industry Minister eyes Saab Automobile lost. The statements she made recently at Rosenbad can not be interpreted otherwise.
– It is difficult to see GM take ownership of Saab now. It is difficult to see any other owners to enter. And we close the door to take ownership.
[…]

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TROLLHÄTTAN, Sweden’s TTELA Newspaper On Saab Automobile’s Outcome In The GM Business Plan

Posted on 18. Feb, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: TTELA

Trollhättan, Sweden’s TTELA Newspaper, who have operations near the train station (close to my favorite pizza place in the Trollhättan “Arena”), has provided some of their own insight into the GM Business Plan provided tonight.

As we now know, Saab Automobile AB have a real opportunity hear to secure funding and complete a financial deal with General Motors prior to March 31st, 2009.

This leaves the remaining 9-months for them to find a buyer that is interested in their company and will help them become financially and organizationally independent of General Motors by January 1st, 2010.

Here is the piece below, roughly translated:

ttela.jpg

Saab will own company next year? Can apply for reorganization directly

GM wants to put Saab in a separate company from 2010. It was the news from Detroit last night. Thus we float in continued uncertainty about Saab’s future fate. Already this month, it may be necessary to apply for a reconstruction of Saab.

No, no certainty as to Saab was as expected not in the night from owner General Motors.
Announcement that will sort out the Saab in a separate company, according to Reuters last night, it would be from 2010, allowing for different interpretations.
One is that the GM of this want to show those in power in Washington that it would not invest U.S. aid money on its Swedish brand.

But if Saab can this crisis we still do not know. It could be seen as the company has won additional time to find a solution.

Funding issue remains But the basic problem remains. Will Saab be able to implement his Swedish plane – where most of the production and development together in Trollhättan – must still resolve the funding issue.
[…]

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