Tag Archives: Tom Wilkinson

GM Reaches Agreement to Sell Saab to Spyker

Posted on 26. Jan, 2010 by .

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It has been over a year since GM decided to strategically review Saab Automobile, but just over 20 years since they’ve been owned by GM .

Today, Spyker Cars, N.V. acquires Saab Automobile from GM, marking a new era for the company.

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GM Reaches Agreement to Sell Saab to Spyker

2010-01-26

DETROIT – General Motors and Spyker Cars NV today confirmed that they have reached a binding agreement on the purchase of Saab Automobile AB.

“Today’s announcement is great news for Saab employees, dealers and suppliers, great news for millions of Saab customers and fans worldwide, and great news for GM,” said John Smith, GM vice president for corporate planning and alliances.

“General Motors, Spyker Cars, and the Swedish government worked very hard and creatively for a deal that would secure a sustainable future for this unique and iconic brand, and we’re all happy for the positive outcome,” Smith said.

As part of the agreement, Spyker intends to form a new company, Saab Spyker Automobiles, which will carry the Saab brand forward. The sale will be subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory, governmental and court approvals. Other terms and conditions specific to the sale will be disclosed in due time.

The Swedish government is at present reviewing the transaction and the related request for guarantees of a Saab Automobile loan that has been requested from the European Investment Bank. Assuming quick action, the transaction is expected to close in mid-February, and previously announced wind down activities at Saab will be immediately suspended, pending the close of the transaction.

“Throughout the negotiations, GM has always had the hope to find a solution for Saab that would avoid a wind down of the brand,” added Nick Reilly, president, GM Europe. “We’ve worked with many parties over the past year, including governments and investors, and I’m very pleased that we could come to such a good conclusion, one that preserves jobs in Sweden and elsewhere. GM will continue to support Saab and Spyker on their way forward.”

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About General Motors: General Motors, one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 204,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM’s largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Italy. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

Saab background: Saab entered the auto business in 1949 with the first model 92. Its aerodynamic shape and advanced technology drew from the company’s roots as an aircraft maker, and helped create what was to become a loyal and passionate customer base. GM acquired a 50 percent stake in Saab in 1990, and acquired the balance of Saab in 2000. As part of its strategy to focus on its four strongest brands in the U.S., GM began seeking a buyer for Saab in January 2009, a concerted effort that led to today’s announcement.

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Tom Wilkinson
Tel: 313-667-0366
Mobile: 313-378-6233
tom.wilkinson@gm.com

Eric Geers
Saab Communications
Tel: +46 520 85110
Mobile: +46 703 205490
eric.geers@gm.com

John McDonald
General Motors Company
Phone: 313-667-3714
Mobile: 313-418-2139
john.m.mcdonald@gm.com

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Saab Conference Call Scheduled 2:00PM EST

2010-01-26

John Smith, vice president, global planning and alliances, will host a conference call for media at 2:00 p.m. EST (8:00 p.m. CET) to provide additional perspective on Saab.

· (800) 398-9367 (U.S.)
· +1 (612) 332-0226 (international/caller-paid)
· No access code is required
· Please provide your name and affiliation and ask for the GM conference call

An audio file of this call will be available shortly after the end of the call at http://media.gm.com.

Technical/broadcast questions:
Steve Griffes
313-220-7982 (mobile)
steven.l.griffes@gm.com

Tom Wilkinson
Tel: 313-667-0366
Mobile: 313-378-6233
tom.wilkinson@gm.com

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GM Statement Regarding Stephen Taylor and Peter Torngren Appointments at Saab

Posted on 12. Jan, 2010 by .

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GM Statement Regarding Stephen Taylor and Peter Torngren Appointments at Saab

2010-01-12

GM today confirmed that Stephen Taylor and Peter Torngren have been officially appointed by the appropriate authority in Sweden as wind-down supervisors of Saab and in this role they will jointly replace the CEO and board immediately. They will meet with management, unions and other stakeholders, and will start working on a plan for an orderly wind down.

As stated previously, the wind-down process is expected to take several months, and will ensure that employees, dealers and suppliers are adequately protected. Also as stated previously, Saab customers can be assured that warranties will continue to be honored and that service and spare parts will continue to be available.

GM today also reaffirmed that it is continuing to evaluate the several purchase proposals it has received for Saab, an evaluation not affected by today’s official appointment.

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Tom Wilkinson
Tel: 313-667-0366
Mobile: 313-378-6233
tom.wilkinson@gm.com

John McDonald
General Motors Company
Phone: 313-667-3714
Mobile: 313-418-2139
john.m.mcdonald@gm.com

Stefan Weinmann
Director Opel Global Corporate and Internal Communications
Telefon + 49-6142 7-77339
stefan.weinmann@de.opel.com

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GM Selecting AlixPartners To Wind Down (Eliminate) Saab

Posted on 08. Jan, 2010 by .

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This is completely unacceptable, and mixed messages with bids coming in and production resuming on Monday and now this from GM.

Now GM is having someone else do their work to “wind down” Saab. If you read between the lines, this is a message to the Swedish Government who still don’t get it. They need to give these bids an EIB loan guarantee. If they don’t presumably, none of the bids will be accepted!

To learn more about AlixPartners and express your opinion about their partnership with GM to “wind down Saab”, check out their website and send them an e-mail by visiting their website here.

Here’s their press release below.

GM Statement Regarding Saab

2010-01-08

GM today confirmed it has selected AlixPartners to supervise the orderly wind down of Saab, and has requested approval of the selection by the appropriate authority in Sweden. The use of a wind down supervisor is a commonly-used process in Sweden and works in the interest of the shareholder.

The wind down process is expected to take several months, and will ensure that employees, dealers and suppliers are adequately protected. As stated previously, Saab customers can be assured that warranties will continue to be honored and that service and spare parts will continue to be available.

GM also confirmed that it has received several proposals for Saab and is continuing to evaluate these proposals. This evaluation is not affected by the appointment of AlixPartners.

Tom Wilkinson
Tel: 313-667-0366
Mobile: 313-378-6233
tom.wilkinson@gm.com

John McDonald
General Motors Company
Phone: 313-667-3714
Mobile: 313-418-2139
john.m.mcdonald@gm.com

Stefan Weinmann
Director Opel Global Corporate and Internal Communications
Telefon + 49-6142 7-77339
stefan.weinmann@de.opel.com

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GM Releases Statement Regarding Saab Inquiries

Posted on 20. Dec, 2009 by .

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Saab History has received a statement from GM regarding the recent Saab inquiries.

GM statement regarding Saab inquiries

Following Friday’s announcement that GM will begin the orderly wind down of Saab, GM has received inquiries from several parties.

We will evaluate each inquiry. We will not comment further until these evaluations have been completed.

Tom Wilkinson
Tel: 313-667-0366
Mobile: 313-378-6233
tom.wilkinson@gm.com

John McDonald
General Motors Company
Phone: 313-667-3714
Mobile: 313-418-2139
john.m.mcdonald@gm.com

Johan Willems
GM International Operations Communications
Tel: +86 212 899 6417
Mobile: +86 1376 1998 8381

Stefan Weinmann
Director Opel Global Corporate and Internal Communications
Tel: +49 (0) 6142 7 77339
Mobile: +49 (0) 175 228 9452
stefan.weinmann@de.opel.com

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GM Posts New Statement Regarding Saab Negotiations

Posted on 09. Dec, 2009 by .

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Exactly a week ago, GM released a statement regarding Saab negotiations. Today, they have posted a new statement indicating that there have been inquiries made to them expressing interest in Saab’s assets both in part and in full.

Here is their updated statement:

December 8th, 2009

As we said last week, we have and continue to receive expressions of interest in Saab since negotiations concluded with Koenigsegg Group AB. These latest inquiries range from interest in part of Saab’s assets to interest in all of Saab’s assets. Since these discussions are confidential and ongoing, we will have no further comment unless or until a decision is reached and the parties are ready to announce.

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Tom Wilkinson
Tel: 313-667-0366
Mobile: 313-378-6233
tom.wilkinson@gm.com

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The GM Board Meeting Continues Throughout Tuesday

Posted on 01. Dec, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab History

Trollhattan’s TTELA news organization reports that the GM Board meeting will continue throughout Tuesday.

At some point later today there may be a statement issued by GM for the press according to their news relations officer Tom Wilkinson, but as of now, there has been nothing released. In addition, it is important to emphasize that GM wishes not to hold a press conference for questions & answers, only a press release or statement.

The delegation that is at the meeting, from Saab and the Swedish government are expected to be leaving Detroit Wednesday afternoon returning to Sweden later that night.

Here’s the piece below by TTELA.

Saab’s delegation leaves on Wednesday

Trollhättan, Sweden The Swedish delegation from the Economy Ministry and Finance Ministry, headed by State Secretary Joran Hagglund, is scheduled to return home from Detroit on Wednesday night.

It says press secretary at the Ministry of Industry, HÃ¥kan Lind.

This means that the Swedish government representatives have a full day in which to further meetings after that the GM board will present its final decisions.

How long Saab Director Jan Ã…ke Jonsson stays in Detroit depends on the situation.

– What time he goes home depends on the information coming. We keep some flexibility, “says Ms Gustav on Saab’s communications department.

The board of GM meet on Tuesday morning local time, late morning Swedish time, for a meeting expected to last all day.

Paul Akerlund, chairman of the IF Metall Club at Saab Automobile, describing the mood inside the Saab factory for the decision:

– Of course it is a bit tense. But I certainly think that there is relatively good, you can surely remember that just a week ago we were more or less excluded.
He perceives the noises from Detroit as positive.

– Yes, and you can understand so we have a bit over-hand information. And I think that GM’s willingness to try to find a new owner this is truly honest. Unfortunately, time is short but there are discussions and there are very positive.

According Akerlund are a few pieces of stakeholders that GM is in talks with.

Is it still possible that GM itself chooses to retain Saab?
– Excluded is not well but I personally would not believe it, but their traces on the sale is settled.

Akerlund believe in no news from GM until late in the evening or night.
– And then I guess that it has declared that it will continue the sales process.

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The Status of The General Motors Renaissance Center

Posted on 08. Oct, 2008 by .

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Photo Credits: Saab History (Jan 2008)

As you may or may not know, the General Motors Renaissance Center is the headquarters for Saab Automobile USA and not North America as Saab Automobile Canada is located Oshawa, Ontario Canada and Saab Automobile Mexico is Mexico City, Mexico.

In the last few days, there have been a few blogs, one being autoblog and another that I will refrain from indicating, apparently misinforming people about the status of the General Motors Ren Center.

With this misinformation, I have decided to take the initiative and flat out ask the folks at GM what the status is of the Renaissance Center in Detroit (Saab Automobile USA’s Headquarters).

From rapid response I received, I am glad to hear that Saab Automobile USA’s office won’t be relocating because they’ve moved a lot over the years in their leased facilities from New York City (1956), to New Haven (1961) & Orange, Connecticut (1971) to Norcross, Georgia (1992) and finally to the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan (2004).

I leave you with the official statement about the Renn Cenn from Tom Wilkinson Director, GM News Relations

GM’s Worldwide Real Estate operations has been exploring options for monetizing the Ren Cen, a fancy word for borrowing money against the value of the building. This is a common practice for companies that don’t want to tie up large amounts of capital in real estate. The company can invest the capital in the business, and pay back the investors with income from the property.

The previous financing package on the building, initiated in 2003, expired in May 2008. At that time, GM said it would pursue a new financing opportunity when the credit and real estate markets allowed.

Because one type of financing alternative is structured as a lease-buyback, the media reported that GM was considering selling the Ren Cen.

GM has no intention of moving its corporate headquarters from its present location in Detroit. We will continue to explore financing options for the property, although the current credit and real estate markets make the timing for such a deal uncertain.

Tom Wilkinson
Director, GM News Relations

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